1950 Lucien Boucher Air France Double Hemisphere Celestial (Surrealist)

Air France. - Main View

1950 Lucien Boucher Air France Double Hemisphere Celestial (Surrealist)


Surrealist embodiment of the golden age of air travel.


Air France.
  1950 (dated)     23.75 x 38 in (60.325 x 96.52 cm)


The finest of Lucien Boucher's iconic maps drawn for Air France, here in a scarce large format edition. Boucher's work for Air France is considered an embodiment of the golden age of air travel. This map, presented as a double hemisphere celestial, was drawn and published around 1950. In a surrealistic style, Boucher illustrates the constellations as seen from the northern and southern hemispheres. The constellations of the Zodiac are highlighted in gold and orange. Taurus is missing from this group, as it is obscured by the Earth. Rendered in tones of burnt orange, a spider work of Air France routes appears over the Earth. Wind heads decorate each corner. Here the airplane is master not just of the sky, but the whole universe, connecting the passenger not merely to earthly destinations, but to the heavenly spheres themselves.
Chromolithography is a color lithographic technique developed in the mid-19th century. The process involved using multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, to yield a rich composite effect. Oftentimes, the process would start with a black basecoat upon which subsequent colors were layered. Some chromolithographs used 30 or more separate lithographic stones to achieve the desired product. Chromolithograph color could also be effectively blended for even more dramatic results. The process became extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it emerged as the dominate method of color printing. The vivid color chromolithography produced made it exceptionally effective for advertising and propaganda imagery.
Publication History
The printer has utilized chromolithographic printing techniques to achieve splendid rich tones throughout. This map was printed for Air France by Perceval of Paris. This chart is dated via a reference number in the lower left, 443/P/ 10-50, suggesting a 1950 publication date. We also note example with a reference number 443/P/ 10-53, suggesting a second edition.


Lucien Boucher (1889 - 1971) was French cartoonist, artist, writer, and illustrator. Boucher was born in Chartres in 1889 and graduated from the École de Céramique de Sèvres. His work as a cartoonist appeared in the humorous weekly Le Rire. Starting in the 1920s he produced numerous pictorial posters inspired by the commercial promise of surrealism. Among them were a series of surrealistic planispheric and celestial maps drawn to illustrate the transportation networks of Air France. More by this mapmaker...


Good. Light coating of varnish provides a beautiful patina.


Rumsey 8055.000 (1953 edition).