“Les Amoureux”, translated as “The Lovers”, were expressive of the mood of France in the post-war period of the 1950s. These two charming, whimsical characters – the little poet, immaculately dressed, adorned with a bowler hat and accompanied by his lady friend – reminded the world that France was for lovers.
Created by Raymond Peynet, artist and designer, these characters had a simple way of amusing, and communicating with, everyone. From America to Japan, many people had their first idea of France from a Peynet drawing, reduced to fit into a magazine ad for chocolate or aperitifs. In those miniature vignettes, everything essentially French would be there: the mansard roofs, cafes, kiosks and a flutter of doves – all nestled behind the couple, hand-in-hand.
They became so popular that Air France adopted them as a campaign symbol and Pierre-Jouet had them giggling over shared champagne (which we have several posters of).
In 1996, Denise, his wife of 66 companionable years, died. Peynet drew no more, and his health declined. Their daughter, Annie, said her mother and father were Les Amoureux, the perfect couple: ‘He was a very loveable man, who spent his whole life talking about love.’
See our whole collection here.