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The Folder Version of Lucien Boucher's Famed Map of the'World

Airline folder version of this decorative Air France Map Poster by Lucien Boucher.

The map was first issued in large format in 1950, then again in significantly smaller format in 1952.  The present example was used as the cover of a folder or menu, the first such example we have seen.

Beginning around 1935, Lucien Boucher designed a number of travel posters for Air France that continued until he was well into his seventies. This artist is best known for his Air France, world-map posters, signaling a global theatre. Lucien Boucher launched his design career attuned to the commercial promise of Surrealism.

Born in Chartres, he studied at the École de Céramique de Sèvres. He made his debut at the Salon d'Automne in 1921, becoming a member in 1923; he also exhibited at the Salon de l'Araignée from 1924-1930. As well as lithographs, Boucher also made wood engravings and drawings in watercolor and gouache.

Condition Description
Trimmed and laid on sheet of larger paper.
Lucien Boucher Biography

Lucien Boucher (1889-1971) was a French artist whose work spanned various mediums including cartooning, painting, and illustration. Born in Chartres and educated at the École de Céramique de Sèvres, Boucher initially focused on ceramics before World War I significantly altered his artistic trajectory. His period of captivity as a prisoner of war during the conflict led him to discover and hone his skills in drawing, thereby shaping his future career.

Before the war, Boucher had already begun to make a name for himself in the French art scene, particularly through his cartoons published in the weekly magazine "Le Rire." His early works demonstrated his capability for visual satire, but his subsequent experience in the war led to a more serious engagement with themes and subjects. After his return, Boucher navigated toward commercial illustration and poster design, successfully integrating his artistic sensibilities with the needs of the market.

Starting in the 1920s, Boucher began to produce a series of posters that drew inspiration from the surrealism movement. This work culminated in his most well-known project: a series of planispheric and celestial maps designed for Air France. These maps served a dual purpose. While they were essentially utilitarian, providing navigational information, they were also aesthetically innovative. Boucher employed elements of surrealism to add layers of meaning, transforming what could have been straightforward maps into more complex visual narratives.

Boucher's work with Air France solidified his reputation as an artist who could balance commercial needs with artistic innovation. His approach to map-making was characterized by a careful attention to detail, a strong sense of composition, and a willingness to explore the boundaries of the medium. While his maps were intended to serve a practical function, they also succeeded in capturing the public's imagination, offering a vision of travel that was aspirational yet grounded in geographical realities.