French Clement Bicycle Race Poster
1892 Clement, one of the earliest French bicycle manufacturers.Clement was one of the earliest French bicycle manufacturers, and the company always used posters, designed by the best artists available, to good advantage. The author of this image, however, remains unknown. In his explicit depiction, the artist appears to favor the illustrative style prevalent in the early years of poster development, but the red-and-yellow letters presage a somewhat bolder approach. Much is made of recent bike race results: Winning brands could count on marked sales increases after each triumph. In the foreground is Stephane, who knocked 58 minutes off the record of English cyclist Mills by riding the 572 kilometers (approximately 355 miles) form Bordeaux to Paris in 25 hours, 37 minutes. No one ever sweats in turn-of-the-century bicycle ads, and Stephane owes his obviously relaxed state to his trusty Clement.