1899 Dupont / Garnier Promotional Poster Advertising Wahl's 'Géographie'

Nouvelle Géographie Générale par Maurice Wahl. - Main View

1899 Dupont / Garnier Promotional Poster Advertising Wahl's 'Géographie'


Massive chromolithograph geographical advertisement.


Nouvelle Géographie Générale par Maurice Wahl.
  1899 (undated)     58.75 x 42.75 in (149.225 x 108.585 cm)


A massive and lavish French chromolithograph poster promoting the 1899 Garnier Frères release of Maurice Wahl's Nouvelle Géographie Générale. Wahl's Géographie was a two-volume mass-market geographical text by the well-known academic geographer and pedagogue Maurice Wahl (1853 - 1900). As an affordable production rich with practical information, it received wide acclaim and was a publishing success - no doubt in part because of this poster.
A Closer Look
This piece is more typical of French wine, spirits, and travel posters than geography texts. It is a lavish chromolithograph production of impressive proportions and includes images of African, American Indian, Asian, and South Asian figures wearing traditional clothing. A globe focusing on the Northern Hemisphere appears in the bottom left, as well as vaguely geographical views ranging from icebergs to tropical bays.
Chromolithography, sometimes called oleography, 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 dominant method of color printing. The vivid color chromolithography produced made it exceptionally effective for advertising and propaganda imagery.
Publication History and Census
This large promotional poster was printed in 1899 by Paul Dupont, of Paris, to promote Garnier Frères' release of the Nouvelle Géographie Générale par Maurice Wahl. The poster is rare, with only the Bibliothèque nationale de France holding another example.


Garnier Frères (1833 - June, 1983) was a large and prominent publishing house and bookstore based in Paris, France. The publishing firm was founded in 1833 by the brothers Auguste (1812 - 1887) and Hippolyte Garnier (1815 or 1816 – 1859, photo at right). Their younger brother Pierre-Auguste (1807 – 1899) also joined the firm. Yet another brother, Baptiste-Louis Garnier (1822 - 1893) joined in 1844. The popular Paris bookshop, located in the arcades of the Palais-Royal in the gallery Peristyle Montpensier, followed shortly after in 1838. They opened another location in 1853 in the former government hotel, at the corner of rue de Lille and rue des Saints-Pères. The firm prospered through the publication of low cost editions French classics. Their corpus of work includes maps, guides, novels, historical works, and essays. In June of 1983 the firm filed for bankruptcy and their assents were taken over by Presses de la Cité, a subsidiary of InfoMédia, which was itself liquidated in 2000. More by this mapmaker...

Paul François Dupont (May 24, 1796 - December 11, 1879) was a Paris based chromolithographer and printer active in the late 19th century. He was born in Dijon and founded his firm, Imprimerie Paul Dupont, in 1925. The firm operated throughout most of the 19th and 20th century, surviving Dupont himself. Although primarily Pairs-based, a Clichy annex opened in 1858. Imprimerie Paul Dupont is best known for large scale chromolithograph promotional posters, although it also issued bank notes and certificates. The firm formally closed in 1985. Learn More...


Very good. Laid on linen.


Bibliothèque nationale de France, ENT DO-1 (GARNIER,E.)-GRAND ROUL.