Close-Up!: Courtenay's Vintage Ortalion Poster

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You may remember Courtenay's vintage Ortalion poster from her entry in last fall's Colors Contest. We certainly haven't forgotten it.

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Courtenay wrote, Given that many of the objects in our home are monochromatic, the colour in my "favourite colourful object," too, is sparing -- but that's one of its strengths. The 40 x 60, Rene Gruau-illustrated stockings ad in our dining room is a piece I still feel lucky to have got my hands on. As much as I love all the now-ubiquitous vintage poster art from the early part of this century, it's rare to come across an original, oversized ad from the mid sixties -- and one that makes such striking use of my favourite colour scheme, at that. To me, red (preferably, a bit on the orange side), black and white can seldom fail, representing both the ends and the dead centre of the spectrum in maximally-contrasting glory. Combined with an ultra-dynamic composition, Gruau's genius of a brushy hand, the figure of a freewheeling chick who I continually aspire to look like and some large, black Italian type -- few things could be more exciting.

In fact, that poster with its strong graphics has haunted us ever since we first saw it. Courtenay got hers on, yup, eBay, for a total steal -- $60. We saw one once on eBay for about $600, too much for our pocketbook. Then, for months, nothing. But the internet is a funny thing. Just today we found a bunch -- here, and here, and here, and here. We'd still rather find one at flea market prices, so we'll keep an eye out.