Collecting Articles and Features

Raphaël Kirchner Postcards

Raphaël Kirchner (1876 – 1917) was an Austrian artist, best known for Art Nouveau and early pin-up work, especially in picture postcard format which became extremely popular during World War I. Kirchner attended the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and began his career as a portrait painter for the fashionable in Vienna. He moved to Paris in 1900, creating illustrations for magazines including La Vie Parisienne, where he worked with other notable artists such as Mucha. Kirchner became best known for his saucy ‘glamour’ postcards of young women which are very collectable over 100 years later.

Raphael Kirchner pencil watercolour
Raphaël Kirchner (Austrian, 1876-1917)
Seated nude; Girl in white breeches; and Blue stockings
Sold for £1,875 Christies, London, 2009

Raphaël Kirchner produced over a thousand published paintings and drawings in his lifetime, mostly in the form of picture postcards. His postcards are very sort after with collectors, from his orientalist Geisha series which had influences of Art Nouveau, East and West, to his ephemeral beauties from La Vie Parisienne to the more realistic erotic young ladies who were the favourites of the European and American soldiers in the Great War who pinned his cards up in the trenches.

Raphael Kirchner postcard smoking girls
Sold for £66.00 on ebay Oct 2016

Raphaël Kirchner postcards were the original pin-ups. 

It was Kirchner’s witty, accurate portrayal of the seamier, yet perhaps the most exciting and glamourous aspects of Parisian night life–of the world of the bar and of the boudoir–that provided the real road to success for the artist. Kirchner’s alluring, often erotic depictions of the typical Montmartre female in La Vie Parisienne and in watercolours and pastels such as ‘Les Joueuses’ became so popular that the prettiest and most expensive of the ‘Montmartre Girls’ became associated with the artist’s images of them, and were duly dubbed ‘Kirchner Girls’.

There are normally 350-400 Raphael Kirchner postcards on ebay click on link to view – Raphael Kirchner postcards on ebay.