Tsarist era Russian adverisements

Sunday, September 09, 2012
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The vintage ads and magazine covers I post stylistically tend to break along the boundary of the 19th and 20th centuries. The newer stuff -- up until photography starts replacing artwork -- tends to be in a crisper, early modern style. The older vintage art, like this set, often is overly sentimental and has many more decorative flourishes.

I find it interesting that modern graphic artists mine the mid-20th century for inspiration, but avoid this earlier style. I suspect part of it is the decorative flourishes, which are hard to do, but much more is that they avoid the underlying narrative style that pops out of much of this earlier work.

I'm not sure why they would do that. Perhaps the narrative power of video has concealed from them the fact that static graphics can also carry a narrative if put together properly. In an earlier post of mine, The empty heart of political correctness, I touched upon the same idea by comparing a modern painting about children and race to Normal Rockwell's much better treatment of the same subject.

These advertisements are from the EnglishRussia post Tsarist Russian Ads. There are more samples after the jump, and even more at the EnglishRussia link.