Henri Cassiers, Belgian (1858 - 1944)

 For admirers of poster art and for bibliophiles, Henri Cassiers is definitely not unknown. The talented draughtsman and aquarellist was there when the new bathing resort De Haan took off. Henri Cassiers was a very decent craftsman and mainly created "applied art": illustrations, posters, educational wall plates, postcards, ... The “Hôtel du Coq” opened on the 22 nd of July 1888 with a copious banquet. For this occasion, a select group of people was invited, amongst which Henri Cassiers, the designer of the menu. In the hotel park, a charming villa was later built for Cassiers. At that moment, he was very active as an illustrator of popular magazines such as "Le patriote Illustré". He went out and would draw illustrations for news stories on the spot. His drawings had the same news value as press photographs would later have.

Around 1897, Henri Cassiers designed the very well-known poster for De Haan, that was used for many years. He must have observed the comings and goings of the inhabitants and tourists very closely. Remarkable in this poster is his attention for anecdotes, the picturesque nature of the place, the contradiction between tradition and modernism. Here, he confronts the traditional clothing of the dune inhabitants and "het Zandhoevetje", the Sand Cottage (which is still there, in the Molendreef) with the modern clothes of the tourists and the luxurious Grand Hôtel in the background. It is that picturesque group of figures in the foreground that points at De Haan's main activity. Furthermore, the poster is characterized by its balanced structure, its bright colours and clear drawing.


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