Leopoldo Metlicovitz's Automobile poster will auction on February 7

Leopoldo Metlicovitz's Mostra del Ciclo e dell'Automobile is valued at $25,000-35,000 ahead of Swann Auction Galleries' February 7 poster sale in New York.

The piece was designed for a motor show in Milan in 1907 and juxtaposes the old gods with the rising technological power of the modern world.  

Metlicovitz poster Swann
Metlicovitz was a well-regarded advertising artist

Swann explains: "Here, a winged deity is flying next to a speeding vehicle. In an unsuccessful attempt to keep up with modernity, he has even removed his laurel wreath to keep it from blowing off at such high speeds, and yet, the car is still in the lead.

"More than just a powerful, symbolic image, the poster is a master work of lithography in which soft pastel shades are used to make a strong impression."

Metlicovitz (1868-1944) was an important Italian poster artist who had a major influence on advertising during his lifetime.  

Another of his works, titled Mele / Moda Novita (1910), carries a $20,000-30,000 valuation.

The piece was executed while the artist was working at the prestigious Ricordi advertising agency in Milan.

Swann comments: "Mele was a department store in Naples which, through their collaboration with Ricordi, became a pioneer of mass advertising, commissioning in total over 180 posters between 1895 and the onset of the First World War.

"We could find only one other record of this poster at auction."

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