As well as serving the purpose of providing information, similarly to early nineteenth-century edicts and proclamations of which our Library owns some examples, posters also represent valuable evidence of the history of figurative arts and costume. In the first place because well-known artists have tried their hand at poster artwork and secondly because, while remaining a fleeting representation of reality, posters have an immediate and original relationship with it and through the evolution of their messageas they manage in fact to document – very effectively as far as our collection is concerned - the development of the insurance sector.
Our 400 posters have insurance as their common denominator and represent a different and undoubtedly more unusual aspect of the insurance phenomenon, as well as depicting its most recent history. A slide show of some of the posters can be viewed opposite.
The posters have been mostly printed using typolithography and have been produced over a long period of time, from 1879 to 1965; the most significant ones are those produced in the golden age of commercial art, between the end of the nineteenth century and 1930, and those originating from Italy and France, as in these two countries this form of advertising was particularly successful.
As well as Italy and France the collection includes posters from other countries, from our neighbouring Switzerland, through United States and Russia to far away China.