The Artistc Realtionship between Man and Smoking


Throughout history, all the way down to the 16th century smoking had always been a prominent stress reliever or pass time to most people. It wasn’t until the 19th century, smoking hit the mass market as cigarette machinery was invented. This led to smoking and cigarettes being an eminent part of the art scene during that time period. Various different time periods and cultures each interpreted smoking in their own unique, 17th century art perceived smoking as something only the low social class people would do which would eventually lead to hardships. 19th century art perceived smoking as invigorating and became popular quickly overtime. Art Nouveau Movement 1890-1910 Lady smoking job Job cigarette papers by Alphonse Mucha,1897.

The Art Nouveau Movement originated in 1890 and lasted until 1910 it was ideal throughout Europe and beyond during this period. The Art Nouveau is a colorful movement in the arts that fascinated Europe during the transition of the 19th century into the 20th century. It was during this time before people began driving cars, before televisions where invented that art lovers would flip through magazines of Art Nouveau styles. The cultural movement included decorative and applied arts, architecture and painting during this time period. It was during this time period that it was illegal for women to smoke cigarettes in public, it was the sentiment that women would not be able to handle the same freedoms as men and would endanger society. The “JOB” cigarette paper poster was design by Alphonse Mucha in 1898, the dimension are 149.2 x 101 cm. The poster was design as an advertisement for JOB cigarette papers and has a woman smoking a cigarette. The poster depicts a woman with her curled-up toe – a representation of a female sexual arousal and her hand gesture holding the cigarette. Alphonse Mucha was known for his stylized depiction of women’s hair, known during the time as macaroni or vermicelli, is both decorative and sensual.

Art Deco 1920s-1930s Chase Smoking stand Design by Walter Von Nessen c. 1930

The Art Deco Movement originated in 1925 until the 1940s it embraces all types of art and is applied to decorative art like interior design, jewelry, furniture, fashion and industrial design, as well as to the applied art of architecture and the visual arts of painting, and graphics. The Art Deco style reflects on modern technology, and is characterized by geometric shapes, smooth lines, streamlined forms and sometimes garish colors. It was during this time period were mass marketing in almost every magazine and medical journal were featuring cigarette advertisement that featured politicians, artist, athletes to doctors. Televisions did not hit the market until 1927, homes across America had radios for entertainment and tobacco advertisement were featured in every major radio show and commercials. The Chase Smoking stand design by Walter Von Nessen in 1930 is currently an item that is on sale on an online site Its dimensions are 11”W x 11”D x 23”H, the Smoking Stand is a bronzed cast metal and has a spherical retractable inset ashtray with a swivel top that reveals an interior compartment. The stand also contains an ash chamber that extends from the top directly down to the base. The smoking stand has a decorative swirl made of bronzed that stabilizes the stand and delivers an elegant and glamourous style to it.

De Stijl 1917-1930 Miss Blanche Cigarette box Vilmos Huszar, 1926

The De Stijl movement originated in 1917-1930 and consist of the following typical characteristics of a flat roof, asymmetry, geometric forms, white or gray walls with details highlighted by primary colors. The separation of planes and the application of primary colors, and the spatial relationship of solids to voids are generally emphasize. In 1926 Vilmos Huszar created It’s a complete visual identity for Miss Blanche Virginia cigarettes, which included packaging, advertising, and point of sale displays. The concept drew on the imagery associated with the emergent “New Women”, or Flappers. The complete visual identity for Miss Blanche Virginia cigarettes has the characteristics of De Stijl art movement, displaying asymmetry, geometric figures that make up Miss Blanche, the design also includes bright primary colors. It was during this time when the first tobacco ad campaign was launch by The American Tobacco Company targeting women and weight loss. There where multiple Tobacco company around this time that where adding women in their ad campaigns.

Constructivism 1915-1930s Communards Pipe 1929 Soviet Movie Poster Anatoly Pavlovich Belsky

The Constructivism art movement flourish in Russia from 1915-1930s as the Blosheviks seize power in the October Revolution of 1917. Constructivism had enormous effect on modern art movements of the 20th century, motivating Bauhaus and De Stijl movements and it was considered to be a symbol of modern era. The above movie poster was design by Anatoly Pavlovich Belsky in 1929 during the Constructivism art movement. Prints can be purchase online on and the dimensions are 11” x 17”. Even though the poster doesn’t have a great deal of the distinctive bold colors, geometric typography, constructivist film posters emerged as a new art form in the young Soviet country, wrecked by revolution and succeeding civil-war. The poster portrays a young girl with a smoking pipe and the smoke coming out of the pipe contains images. It was during this time period that women were being portray smoking in various cigarettes ads.  

American Modernism 20th Century SHOE-SHINE BOY SMOKING M. Rikin, 1942

The American Modernism movement is and artistic and cultural movement that began in the United States at the turn of the 20th century and was inspired by Cubism and Futurism. The “Shoe-Shine Boy Smoking “ is an oil painting from the American Modernism art period by M.Rikin in 1942, the dimensions are 23.0” W x 33.0” H x 2.5” and is set on an ornate gilt wooden frame. The painting depicts a shoe shine boy taking a break from his work and sitting on a bench while he rests his head on one of his hands while he enjoys smoking a cigarette. The boy has a hat with a matching shirt over a pair of torn overalls while his tool box of trade is featured gathered below one of his feet. By this period in the 1930s and 1940s smoking had become the norm for both men and women in the United States to smoke. Ad campaigns featuring medical physicians would encourage the public that their respective brand was safe to smoke.

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