A stein, a mug and a glass, all filled with foaming beer, are raised in a toast “a votre sante” in this wonderful vintage French poster from the 1930s advertising Spatenbrau, a popular beer from Munich. And if the three figures pictured need any additional incentive to raise a toast, the poster brags that the beer is “le plus sain des aperitifs” – the healthiest aperitif.
Famed poster artist Jean Carlu drew this poster, which reflects his art deco style as well as the influence that cubism had on his designs. The narrow, angular figures have chiseled profiles, with the backs of their heads elongated and their elbows and wrists bent at right angles. Pictured in black, red and yellow and positioned on a diagonal, with the largest figure in back and the smallest in front, these geometric figures have a distinctly robotic quality.
The two small crests at the bottom which bookend the word Spatenbrau bear a picture of a spade, the early symbol used by the beer maker, as the German word spaten translates as spade. The letters G and S in the crest on either side of the spade honor a founder of the company, Gabriel Sedlymayr.
Jean Carlu (1900–1997) was a French graphic designer and commercial artist. In his early work he was drawn to the angular forms and spatial subtleties associated with Cubism. Subsequently he became a leading figure in French poster design working within the French art deco style.
During WWII he spent time in the US where he designed posters promoting expansion of American production. After the war, he returned to France and continued his career as a poster designer, with many international companies as his clients.
This poster provides a wonderful example of Carlu's art and style. Look at the other posters we offer by Carlu and you’ll recognize similarities.
Carlu's signature appears in the plate on the lower right side of the poster.
If you collect vintage beer ads, this very rare one is a must-have.