Poster for the opening of Cabaret Fledermaus, 1907
Leopold Museum, Vienna
Poster for the opening of Cabaret Fledermaus 1907
Color lithograph on paper
(Nieder-Rosenthal near Reichenberg/district of Liberec 1874–1960 Vienna)
Lithograph and print Albert Berger, Vienna
Unfortunately not on display at the moment
The poster announcing the opening of Cabaret Fledermaus in 1907 is considered a pinnacle of Austrian advertising art in the early 20th century. With this work, the painter, graphic artist and designer Bertold Löffler (1874–1960) managed to achieve a maximum of expression despite simplified pictorial forms and colors. The stage aspect of the performance venue, which was intended as a Gesamtkunstwerk, or universal work of art, is alluded to with the silhouettes of three masks. The two male ones symbolize tragedy and comedy, while the third can be interpreted as female. Along with the black background, the basic coloring is limited to yellow, red and green. While the figural pictorial elements enter into a harmonious synthesis with the typographical ones, the artist clearly economized on decor: Only the “S”, rendered as a serpentine line with spiral-shaped ends, and the wavy crossbars of the “F” and “E”s hint at decoration.