FRANCIS BERNARD (1900-1979)BAL DES PETITS LITS BLANCS. 1929. 62 1/2x46 1/4 inches, 158 3/4x117 1/2 cm. Paul Martial, Paris. Condition B+ / B: repaired tears, small replaced losses, creases and restoration in margins and image; minor restoration in image. Francis Bernard was a member of the U.A.M. (Union des Artistes Modernes), along with A.M. Cassandre, Jean Carlu, Charles Loupot and Paul Colin. Although he is the least-known of the five, he was, in fact, the pioneer of photomontage in France and the first of the group to work as a full-time art director, when he took that position for the printer Paul Martial. In this image, with prominent use of the diagonal, Bernard integrates his Art Deco aesthetic into "the stylized objectivity and the constructive design language of A.M. Cassandre" (Theatreplakat p. 190). The elegant couple is depicted in a soft surrealist way, yet rigidly aligned with the columns of the newspaper. The Bal des Petits Lits Blancs (Ball of the Little White Beds) was Paris' most important charity event to raise money for children's hospitals. The official sponsor was the newspaper L'Intransigeant, which Bernard uses as the background for the image. The paper was immortalized in 1925, when Cassandre designed an exceptional poster for them; a reduced version of his image appears here, behind the man's head. Rare. We have not found another copy at auction in over 14 years. Theatreplakat 165.