(Jean de Paléologue) PAL Biography

PAL ( Jean de Paléologue)

Pal was a member of an imperial dynasty which once ruled the Byzantine countries; by the time he came around, they had long since ceased to be emperors but still enjoyed aristocratic splendor in Rumania. Pal was born there, got his education and served in the military; thereafter, however he opted for a career in art, and started working as a magazine illustrator and posterist in London. In 1893, he moved to Paris, at first staying with illustrations; but between 1895 and 1900, he became intensely involved with posters, and during this brief period produced some of the most sensuous designs ever used in advertising up to that time. His loving tributes to feminine pulchritude identify his posters instantly; he could and did paint in oils as well, predictably choosing the same ravishing beauties for his subjects. In 1900, Pal made another abrupt move: he went to the United States, and for the remainder of his life worked in applied graphics: at first magazines, later ads and publicity for the auto, film and animation industries. He became one of the main contributors to Vanity Fair after the death of Carlo Pellegrini (Ape). Pal passed away in Miami at the age of 82.

Biography excerpted from:
Posters of the Belle Epoque: The Wine Spectator Collection
by Jack Rennert

The Rumanian-born artist worked under the name Julius Price in England then later going on to Paris and assuming the name of Pal, created thousands of illustrations and over one hundred posters in the period of 1893 to 1900, many of which present a classical nude woman, presenting the product.

He was also the only designer at the time, except Cheret, who understood the technique of lithography. Pal mastered the medium of the stone to the point where he could achieve effects of light and shadow making lithography seem like Oil painting by the Old masters.

He must have been a very colorful figure; In an interview in a Miami paper just before his death in 1942, he is described as "Prince Paleologue, a direct descendant of the last Christian emperor of Byzantine. His ancestor, Emperor Constantine XII, died on the ramparts of Byzantine fighting the invading Turks in the year 1453 A.D."

He apparently came to the United States with Sarah Bernhardt in 1900, settled in New York, working as a portrait painter, illustrator, and cartoon animator. He became a U.S. citizen in 1923 and lived the last two years of his life in Miami, Florida.