A very attractive Air France advertisement designed by Lucien Boucher, showing the constellations of the northern and southern skies overlain by a globe showing Air France routes. Dozens of constellations are shown, and the signs of the Zodiac and ecliptic line are shaded in gold. The map is decorated with many attractive drawings and designs.
The globe shows the many routes of Air France at the time this map was made. Flights from Paris stretch from all over the world, to New York, Buenos Aires, Reunion, Tehran, Shanghai, and dozens of other locations. An Air France jet flies over the map globe.
Decorative imagery can be found throughout the map, and this work is a prime example of the attractive advertisements Air France is so famous for. The constellations are delicately engraved, and their names intricately are written in French. Attention to detail is extensive, for example, the signs of the Zodiac are written in flowing cursive, while other constellations are in a printed handwriting style. Additional representations add to the attractiveness of the map, with cherubs blowing gently at the four corners of the map, the Milky Way flowing through the constellations, and clouds parting to reveal stars, all in a surrealist style.
Lucien Boucher was a famed French cartoonist of the mid-20th century. He trained at the ceramics school in Sevres and started his career as a cartoonist for a satirical magazine. Lucien Boucher then moved to launch a design career attuned to the commercial promise of surrealism. He was contracted by Air France started in 1935, and designed a number of travel posters for the company, working well into his seventies.
Boucher's work for Air France was key in revolutionizing the way in which airline advertisements occur. While previous work focused on advertising a single route, Boucher chose to portray Air France's extensive global empire in his advertisements. This contributed to a change in the way people thought about airlines and helped to create a branding image that we still recognize today for upper-tier airlines. For his work, Lucien Boucher became known as "Monsieur Planisphere" at Air France.
This is the small format version of the poster, printed with offset lithography.