Every Paperblanks® book is inspired by world art and culture, by traditional craft and practice, and by visionaries, rebels and artists across the ages. Behind the Cover is a blog series about the origins of our designs.
Original Artwork: Gaston Girbal’s La Grande Revue poster
Gaston Girbal (1888–1978) was a French illustrator and painter largely celebrated for the fabulous posters he created for starlets like Édith Piaf and Josephine Baker and theatre companies such as the Folies Bergère and Casino de Paris. In fact, it is a design he created in the 1930s for La Grande Revue at the Casino de Paris that graces our Cabaret Cabaret cover.
Casino de Paris, under the direction of Henri Varna, rose in the early 1900s to become one of the most famous cabarets in Art Deco–era Paris. Over the ensuing decades, this revue-format venue has launched the careers of performers such as Josephine Baker and Carla Bruni and also received contributions from widely celebrated artists such as Serge Gainsbourg and Yves Saint Laurent. The Casino’s art, sounds and famous names call to mind an exuberant atmosphere of showgirls, feathers and silks, bright colours and sequins under spotlights.
To this day, the work Girbal contributed to this music and fashion scene is synonymous with elegance, glamour and modernity. The Art Deco period in which he flourished was a phenomenon in France before taking the world by storm, and offered an eclectic style combining traditional craft motifs with modern geometric shapes, rich colours and lavish materials. For the post-war world, it represented luxury, exuberance and faith in social and technological progress.
Artists like Gaston Girbal perfectly captured the joyful hopefulness of this era. The creator of more than seventy sheet music cover folders, he continued to design for theatre companies throughout his long life, though his Art Deco work remains his hallmark. While many of the costume and set designers who captured the look and feel of the Art Deco era remain unheralded, it is a testament to Girbal’s influence that his name is remembered.
About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.