By: Lucien Boucher

Date: 1939 (published) Paris

Dimensions: 24 x 37.5 inches (61 x 95.25 cm)

An exceptional, early Air France poster promoting the new method of travel by air. This pictorial map by Lucien Boucher made at the onset of WWII combines old world charm with mid-century cultural imagery from around the world into one incredible visual work that was sure to entice wanderlust among would be travelers.

This map is easily identified as an early Boucher work for Air France by the lack out routes found in the later maps of the 1940s (post WWII) to the 1960s. In this map, only one primary route exists within French Equatorial Africa connecting the coastal cities. The airline did have an impressive reach for the time, extending routes as far as Santiago Chile and Hong Kong, China. In an era where air travel was a new and daunting option, and most people never ventured far from their place of birth, Air France maps introduced a new form of exploration, that was accessible to the general public. 

Throughout the map vignettes feature people from a wide range of cultures dawning their native garb and methods of transportation. Vignettes of indigenous animals can also be spotted throughout the map, including a variety of tropical birds, a lion, monkey, and kangaroos. Boucher clearly sought influence from earlier maps of the Renaissance as he incorporated sailing ships, flying fish, sea monsters, and allegorical figures throughout the oceans. In contrast, a large shadow of a airliner can be found over the British Isles to Scandinavia. 

Lucien Boucher (1889-1971) started his career as a cartoonist for satirical magazines before focusing on poster artwork for film and advertising. He is best known for the series of Air France posters that he made between 1934 and 1962. 

Condition: This map is in B+ condition with some light soiling and paper toning throughout. Margins are full, colors are bold and the piece has been backed with linen for preservation and presentation purposes.

Inventory # 11779

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