Modiano of Bologna created some of the most inspired product advertising in the '20s and '30s for its line of cigarette rolling papers and tubes. The firm gave free rein to some of the best artists in Italy and abroad, which contributed to the brand's strong popularity. One of the best Modiano posters was by Franz Lenhart, a Bavarian artist who moved to the Dolomite region of Northern Italy in the early '20s.
The design consists of an exquisitely refined Greta Garbo-esque woman whose face, with its cool, reserved expression, is partially obscured by a huge brimmed hat. Her sharply elongated figure conforms to the '20s ideal of the "new woman": slender and glamorous. The light smoke from the cigarette in her gloved hand wisps sinuously upward.
Lenhart uses every compositional device to make the product the central focus of the poster. First, he sets the cigarette off against the backdrop of the dark hat. He also places the cigarette at the visual center, at the top of a triangle formed by the "M" of Modiano, the woman's gloved hand and her other arm. Without a word, the poster clearly states that Modiano is a required fashion accessory.