Jean-Adrien MERCIER (Angers, 1899 - Paris, 1995)
Active as a poster artist, illustrator and graphic designer, Jean-Adrien Mercier received his training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in his native Angers, transferring to the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1921. He began his career in 1924 as a designer of publicity and cinema posters, a field in which he was to remain active throughout his life and for which he remains best known. Between 1925 and 1942 Mercier designed more than 120 cinema posters for films by such eminent directors as Jean Renoir, Abel Gance and Sacha Guitry. He also produced numerous commercial posters, notably for the Cointreau brand, for whom he worked for some forty years, eventually becoming the artistic director of the firm. At the end of the 1930’s Mercier began producing illustrations for children’s books and fairy tales, and also undertook a prolific career as an illustrator. As well as designs for calendars, book covers and so forth, Mercier also received the commission for the decoration of the children’s playroom on the transatlantic ship France, painted in 1961, and also designed the ship’s menus.