What a happy pelican! Just look at her smiling (or so it would appear, though it's hard to tell with pelicans). With her head tilted up she is clearly enjoying the spotlight (and her cigarette). And there must be a spotlight on her from somewhere because she is in the foreground all lighted up, while her dark shadow (cleverly reversed) sits behind her.
We think she's a lady pelican not only because she has lovely curly eyelashes, but also because this advertisement for Pelican Cigarettes (made from Virginia tobacco) is an original lithograph printed in France the 1920s. The decade following WWI was when cigarette advertisements began targeting women for the first time with the message that smoking was healthy and sexy and cosmopolitan and sophisticated. Not surprisingly, it was a message embraced by many women (and apparently by some pelicans).
This striking poster was designed just as the art deco style was becoming popular in France, and the poster reflects this design trend with its clean lines and its bold and contrasting colors. The pretty little decorative cigarette tin in the right-hand corner also illustrates the impact that the art deco movement was having on product design, as its simple yet novel and very contemporary round shape and its elegant geometric pattern both say, "Isn't this new, clever and wonderfully sophisticated!"
This poster makes a wonderful addition to any poster collection!