Vintage French Illustration

normandyI found this illustrated paper folder at a rural antique shop in Normandy a while back – I think Le Cygne Noir was a grooming product and am guessing this is from the 1940’s perhaps

I loved the print quality up close, although the swan does start to look a bit sly at this proximity…


Bountiful hay bales, slumberous hamlets, handsome thatches, ancient antique shops and brocantes, Normandy bewitched me with it’s idyllic chocolate box charm.

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Happily, there was also a reassuring selection of guesthouses adhering to aggressive floral policies

I was also a bit enchanted by this incredibly quaint fairytale style house overlooking the sea in St Valery En Caux, the lettering on the sign, flowers and overall style are all typically Art Nouveau so date it to the early 1900’s.  I think I’d like to retire here to watch the ocean from that top window whilst surrounded by a supreme selection of cheeses.


All of these pictures were taken on film on my favourite £2.50 1990’s camera.  I’ve noticed it has a curious trick of cloaking nearly every image with a nostalgic wistful haze that somehow tempts you to remember that moment in time as a gilded, glittering sea of euphoria (when in actual fact you had been suffering from severe heartburn after eating a misguided gigantic chocolate croissant followed by a three course lunch…).

I think I am actually totally at ease with this method of sugar coating existence though and believe some form of it is fairly compulsory – so grab one of these lo-fi wonders on eBay and live in your own 70’s Terence Malick film forever.

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