EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE, PARIS
La lune à un mètre : Souvenir de l’Exposition 1900
[Paris : Exposition Universelle, 1900]. Lithograph on tinted paper laid down on board, as issued; circular format, diameter 400 mm; a couple of surface marks and tiny amounts of paper loss at the right edge, otherwise fine; mounted in a glazed frame.
A striking souvenir “poster” produced for the Exposition Universelle held in Paris between April and November, 1900. The design is based on an image from the groundbreaking film by Georges Méliès, La lune à un mètre (1898), more famously known by its alternative title Le rêve d'un astronome (The Astronomer's dream). It was used to advertise one of the most popular attractions at the exhibition, a powerful telescope known as La grande lunette. Constructed specifically for the exhibition by Paul Gautier, the telescope was the centrepiece of the Palais d'Optique, and was advertised under the rubrique La lune à un mètre (The moon from a distance of one metre). With the aid of this telescope, views of the moon's surface were displayed on a giant screen; these images were produced by the astronomers Maurice Loewy and Pierre Henri Puiseux as a series of large photographs which were printed for the public in stereoscopic and carte de visite format.
The Exposition Universelle, which received 50 million visitors, was a showcase for the technology of the present and future. This poster celebrates marvellous advancements in both science (La grande lunette was the world's largest refracting telescope) and the arts (by drawing its design from the most recent of inventions, the motion picture).