Savoy and its spa towns

Savoy and its spa towns

  • Advertising poster for the hydrotherapeutic establishment of Divonne.

  • Advertising poster for Brides-les-Bains and Salins-Moutiers.

To close

Title: Advertising poster for the hydrotherapeutic establishment of Divonne.

Author :

Creation date : 1898

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 56.7 - Width 60

Technique and other indications: Colored lithograph

Storage location: MuCEM website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Picture reference: 05-509399 / 61.18.57E

Advertising poster for the hydrotherapeutic establishment of Divonne.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

To close

Title: Advertising poster for Brides-les-Bains and Salins-Moutiers.

Author :

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 101.5 - Width 78.5

Technique and other indications: Colored lithograph

Storage location: MuCEM website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Picture reference: 05-509358 / 78.65.2E

Advertising poster for Brides-les-Bains and Salins-Moutiers.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Publication date: January 2012

Historical context

Thermal tourism in Savoie

Since the middle of the XIXe century, the region of the former Duchy of Savoy and, to a lesser extent, that of Jura, experienced an unprecedented boom in hydrotherapy. While a medical and hygienist discourse extolling cures emerges, consolidates and spreads at this time, the attachment of the Duchy of Savoy to France (in 1860), itself followed by the establishment of rail links that connects the new departments throughout the territory (end of the XIXe century), also help to make these sites new tourist destinations.

Both dating from the same period (late 19the century and early twentiethe century), Hydrotherapy establishment poster, Divonne and Brides-les-Bains and Salins-Moutiers are precisely advertising posters intended to promote thermal tourism in Savoy. Testifying in their own way to the general development of tourism and leisure in France (itself enabled by that of advertising which was then experiencing an unprecedented golden age), these two lithographs nevertheless specify what makes the specificity of the towns of Savoyard waters in the practices and representations linked to this recent activity.

Image Analysis

Detail view and overview

Colorful, verbose in indications and details, Hydrotherapy establishment poster, Divonne is quite characteristic of advertising chromolithographs of the time. It combines written indications (the destination, its location, the various leisure activities offered and the medical vocation) with five representations of the site (three boxes and two medallions). In a fairly sober style, the building is thus visible "from all angles" (from afar with its park, in profile through the trees, from the front and three quarters with its courtyard), so that the viewer, already fully informed. have a full and detailed view of what to expect.

More stripped down, with some landscape and pictorialist tendency, Brides-les-Bains and Salins-Moutiers chooses a larger view, playing on the deep perspective of an alpine landscape. The snow-capped peaks which form the horizon in the background then decline into green hills which welcome a small village typical (which can also be one of the two destinations indicated at the bottom left). As the presence of the springs is recalled by a vigorous torrent, a "native" (see her costume) on a mountain path comes to meet the spectator, her arms loaded with a welcome bouquet. More surprising and not very consistent with the rest of the image, a box (bottom left) offers a rather dull cartographic indication of the place.

Interpretation

Nature, health and purity

Intended for large-scale display in the various cities of France, Hydrotherapy establishment poster, Divonne aims to convince future customers, combining the legitimacy and seriousness of a "technical" vocabulary (hydrotherapy establishment) and precise (nervous disorders - digestive tract diseases) with the more playful mention of leisure (society theater, gymnastic, beautiful lawn-tennis, weapons room). If they are well put forward, the medical advantage and specificity are tempered by the promise of more "classic" entertainment. Likewise, the representation of places in the different parts of the print suggests the health, purity and tranquility of family tourism (family stay) and relatively luxurious (as confirmed by the activities on offer, such as tennis or fencing). The well-aligned buildings, the park and the vast square refer to the idea of ​​a palace (and even a castle) while the presence of a beneficent, luxuriant (the flowers) and nevertheless controlled (the trees) nature evokes the “natural” richness of the place.

A theme that also takes up Brides-les-Bains and Salins-Moutiers, by clearly inscribing the destination in a pure, green and welcoming mountain, ready to offer its benefits, just like the woman with the bouquet who is ultimately the redoubled image of it.

Savoie (whose name is indicated directly or by the cities) is seen as identified and specified by signs that characterize and differentiate it as a "natural", unspoiled and peaceful (unlike other tourist sites) destination of health and pleasure.

  • Hobbies
  • hydrotherapy

Bibliography

BERGERI Jean-Paul, Histoire de Moûtiers.Capitale de la Tarentaise, Montmelian, La Fontaine de Siloé, “Les Savoisiennes” collection, 2007.CAZES Georges, Tourism in France, Que sais-je? Paris, PUF, 1995.GOUJON Jacques, One hundred years of tourism in France, Paris, éditions du Recherches-Midi, 1990.LANGENIEUX-VILLARD Philippe, The thermal stations in France, Paris, PUF collection Que sais-je? December 1990 VIDART Paul, Practical studies on hydrotherapy, or treatment of diseases with cold water; observations collected during the year 1850 at the Hydrotherapic Institute of Divonne, by Dr Paul Vidart, Burgundy, F. Dufour printing, 1851.

To cite this article

Alexandre SUMPF, "Savoy and its spa towns"


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