Georges Privat-Livemont

(Belgian, 1861-1936)


By 1898, poster magazines were calling Privat-Livemont “The uncontested master of Belgian posterists.” He had dazzled the poster world with delicately drawn design which, while conceive somewhat differently from Mucha’s, created the same final effect of celebrating feminine pulchritude in the service of commercial enterprise. Privat-Livemont could not have been a Mucha disciple for he simple reason that he started out earlier, but had had the same penchant for the idealized female, the same meticulous draftsmanship, and the same mystery of the principles of decorative style.

Privat-Livemont came to posters by accident, via interior design. After studying it and embarking n it as a career first in his home town of Schaerbeek in Belgium, and then in Paris, where he worked on décor for the Comédie Française, among others, he returned home there, on a whim, entered a contest for a poster for the local art appreciation society. To his own surprise, he won: this got him interested in lithography, and before long, he had his own studio in Brussels. Eventually, he abandoned the field to devote himself to painting in oils; but for few years that he stayed with posters, he produced a number of designs of pristine beauty, nearly always exalting lovely young ladies.