«Le Raphael de la carte postale»: this was the definition made by Marcel Knecht, author of an interesting article in the Revue Illustrée de la Carte Postale in the year 1900. He was referring to Raphael Kirchner who was only 25 at the time but his fame as a postcard illustrator was already widespread
through the whole of Europe. Over a century later this definition is even more
valid. To day neither collector nor lover of period postcards exists who
does not know the name of Raphael Kirchner or desires to have one of his
postcards in a personal collection.
During his lifetime Kirchner was one of the most famous illustrators of picture postcards, not only in Europe but also in America.
We are married since many years, and have two children, Daniela and Roberto, and three grandchildren, who bear with great patience our mania of postcard collecting.
For many years now we have been collecting artist postcards, especially from Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, and at the same time we have conducted studies and research work on these postcards produced at the beginning of the 20 th Century and on their illustrators.
In our research, we have been especially fascinated, from the start, by the enchanting young women created by Raphael Kirchner. We have been to meeting for specialists in postcard collecting in Italy and abroad, scrutinized auction catalogues, and selling lists, we have visited national and foreign libraries, flea markets and antique fairs, written to collectors and merchants all over the world and little by little we have reconstructed the life of Raphael Kirchner and traced many of his works.
In 1996 we published the results of our research on Kirchner's postcards in the book Raphael Kirchner and his postcards. After more than twenty years we have decided to publish a new edition with all the cards reproduced in color, in addition to the new discoveries: Raphael Kirchner and his postcards. New Edition. We are convinced that we are doing something that will please many postcard collectors and at the same time pay homage to an artist who knew how to interpret the feminine universe with a very personal style.
In addition to Kirchner, we have done studies on other illustrators: Alphonse Mucha, first of all, and then Basch Arpad, Paul Berthon, Hans Christiansen, Gisbert Combaz, Eva Daniell, Adolf Hohenstein, Karl Jozsa, Mela Koehler, Laskoff, Lessieux, Henri Meunier, Elizabeth Sonrel, the Italian artists Baruffi, Bompard, Brunelleschi, Busi, Cappiello, Chiostri, Codognato, Corbella, Dudovich, Gobbi, Alberto Martini, Mataloni, Meschini, Metlicovitz, Nanni, Scattina, Seneca, Tafuri, Terzi, and also the advertising postcards by Maga, the deco postcards published in Italy by Degami, the risque postcards published in France by Librairie de l'Estampe and by Delta, and last but not least some postcards from the "great series" such as the Ver Sacrum, the Job, the Cinos, the Philippe & Kramer, the Jugend, the Wiener Werkstatte.
Part of the results of our research has been included in several articles of Italian magazines such as La Cartolina and Charta, and we have also collaborated with the English magazine Picture Postcard Monthly and with the French review Cartes Postales et Collection.