2008.487.56 Jean d’Ylen
Cognac Richardpailloud, ca. 1920, promotional fan
Author: Laura Gonyon
Anchored by a plump, ebullient figure with flowing garb, the Cognac Richardpailloud fan reflects the impact of mass production and a competitive marketplace in early twentieth century France. Originally conceived as a poster, d’Ylen’s image enlivens a piece of usable art by its bold forms and colors. The connection to printed advertisements was commonplace at this time, as handheld fans and other forms of decorative art were commonly used as new and improved forms of product promotion.
The Cognac Richardpailloud fan reflects women as social beings and consumers. In the late nineteenth century, handheld fans were a staple accessory in most women’s wardrobes. These fans made the perfect form of advertisement, as they were very public objects. The spirited woman looks to have imbibed in the cognac being advertised herself as her pale complexion contrasts strongly with bright red cheeks and a wide jovial smile.