Cardinaux’s simple, towering image of the Matterhorn is often considered the first truly modern travel poster. To that time, there was nothing like it – only four words of text, vibrant color harmonies inspired by modern art, with an almost complete suppression of detail which created a poster shocking in its directness and monumental grandeur.
The poster was originally designed in 1903 as a monocard, a popular turn-of-the-century collectible in Switzerland about the size of a postcard. Printed as a poster in 1908, the view of the Matterhorn at dawn became universally loved by the Swiss and Swiss tourists alike as a symbol of the country's natural beauty.
Cardinaux had studied in Munich under Franz Stuck and traveled to Paris in 1903. His Zermatt confirmed the arrival of a new age in Swiss poster design, and he became a pioneer of the new Plakatstil, or Poster Style, in the country. This remarkably faithful print was created at the great Zurich house of Wolfensberg, using the same lithographic process it had utilized nearly a century earlier on Cardinaux’ design. The edition was limited to 500 prints and dated and numbered. This work is hand-signed and numbered by the lithographer.