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  • Author: LANDELLE, Willy (artist)
  • Publisher: Editions Jacques Petit, Anjou, France
  • Date: 1949
  • Dimensions: sheet: 72.5 x 52cms


Wonderful French pictorial map of post-war Paris, designed by Anjou artist Willy Landelle for Editions Jacques Petit [1949]

About this piece:

Paris – Willy Landelle – Editions Jacques Petit – Angers -France – 1949

Colour printed lithograph poster on thick poster paper. Wide margins. Light soiling and occasional marginal creasing. One stain in upper left margin and couple of line marks in lower blank margin but overall a well preserved and nicely presented example.

A wonderfully evocative portrayal of post-war Paris presented in the form of a colourful & amusing pictorial map of the French capital. It was published & copyrighted in 1949 by the Anjou Publishers, Editions Jacques Petit, after a charming design by the well-known local Angevin poster artist & commercial illustrator, Willy Landelle, whose signature appears in the lower right corner.

Willy Landelle was a popular book illustrator and poster designer. It is little surprise to find him working closely with Editions Jacques Petit, a long-established Anjou firm which survives to this day. Biographically, little is known about Landelle himself. He was married in 1930 and his wide-ranging and long-lasting artistic career straddled both the pre- and post-war periods. Several different versions and editions of this map appear to have been published, one example with different decorative embellishments & far fewer figures.

The whole of Paris is depicted to its urban limits & beyond, including the suburbs of Clichy, St.Ouen and St.Denis in the North & Issy Les Moulineaux, Montrouge, Gentilly & Ivry in the South and depicting parts of Neuilly, the Bois de Boulogne & St.Cloud in the West & Pantin, Les Lilas & Vincennes in the West.

Capturing a humour, frivolity and joie de vivre that perhaps belies the day-to-day struggles & realities of post-war Parisian life, the city is laid out street by street with the main buildings and sites of importance shown in pictorial vignette. Further embellishment is provided by an array of  Hergé-esque cartoon figures, many representing the specialities & local trades of particular arrondissements & quartiers of the French capital. Included are North African street vendors; newspaper boys; travelling salesmen; sandwich board men; barrel makers & coopers; furniture makers & restorers; painters & decorators; gendarmes & armed robbers in chase;  jailbreakers; Montmartre artists & jazz musicians; the seedier side of Pigalle nightlife; dancers & ballerinas; lawyers; politicians; students; lovers; soldiers & injured war veterans; tourists; greengrocers; an haute couture dress designer; a couple of butchers about to do their worst to a cow & a pig; uniformed nannies strolling the streets & pushing traditional prams; young children at play or roaming the streets & sturdy old ladies striding homeward with their daily baguette; dogs & dog walkers, zoos & wild animals; a Parisian pissoir; and around the peripheries, innumerable sports and pastimes, including picnicking, fishing, cycling, tennis, horse racing, football, pelota, and hiking. Horses & carts & carriages abound, and strangely, for a City now so clogged with urban traffic, only one single car, parked on the wealthy Ave Victor Hugo, adjacent to the Arc de Triomphe.

A modern four-prop aircraft, emblazoned with tricolour stripes, and be-straddled by a smart-suited observer clinging to its fuselage, swoops low over the city from the North east, above the fertile suburban fields & smoking factories of this evidently renascent & vibrant modern metropolis.  In the top left, the title cartouche includes the City’s coat of arms. In the lower right, a decorative compass spur / wind dial incorporates a central pair of blowing bellows, a sudden westerly blast from its spout inverting the umbrella of an unsuspecting Parisian strolling in the rain nearby.

In all an unusual and captivating pictorial plan of post-war Paris.