[RIPOLIN.] Bulletin 1909. Union Amicale des Commis de l'Entreprise Générale de Peinture.

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[RIPOLIN.] Bulletin 1909. Union Amicale des Commis de l'Entreprise Générale de Peinture. Société de secours mutuels et de retraites no. 1210.
[Paris, 1909]
(31 x 15.5 cm). [1] 2-27 [28, blank] pp., and one plate of color samples. Original illustrated chromolithographic covers by Thiron and Bouchet, Paris. Covers worn with some tiny splits starting at the binding staples, slight tanning to the covers, and some very tiny chipping to 4-5 of the 84 color samples. Manuscript notes on one page related to Ripolin colors.

The annual bulletin for the “Union Amicale des Commis de l'Entreprise Générale de Peinture”, a trade organization for painters, wall paperers, and other artisans associated with painting in the building trades. The bulletin publishes the bylaws and the official statute of the society, which was founded in 1898. Additionally, there are summaries of the society’s Assembly General for Fall 1908 and Spring 1909, which list the members present at the assembly, as well as those absent, the topics discussed at the assembly, and a financial statement for the society, including indemnities for health care for members and other expenses. The bulletin also contains numerous advertisements for various suppliers for painters: pigments, plasters, polishes, wallpapers, etc. and in particular that of the renowned Ripolin firm, which produced a highly resistant enamel paint, originally with a base of linseed oil, which gives a shiny appearance. Ripolin’s stature grew quickly, and they won gold medals and other honors in international exhibitions in Liège, Paris, and Saint Louis between 1895 and 1908.


The central aesthetic feature of this bulletin is the Ripolin ad, which is printed on heavier card stock and features a brilliant color chart, presenting 84 different colors samples of enamel paints available from the firm. The samples remain bright and well preserved. Ripolin brochure was intended to be removed from the bulletin, as indicated by the vertical fold lines, seen in the illustration below. The verso of the color chart includes instructions [mode d’emploi] for the best application of the paint.

The longstanding stature of the Ripolin firm, which exists to this day, is reflected in the transitive verb “ripoliner” meaning, according to Trésor de la langue française: “Peindre quelque chose au ripolin [to paint something with Ripolin].” The term was employed by Colette as early as 1900 in her novel Claudine à l’École and more recently by French President Emmanuel Macron in a televised debate in 2017.

A valuable catalog which documents not only the trade organizations around the building trades at the beginning of the 20th century, but also an example of a commercial product’s entry into daily speech, literature, and political discourse (such as ‘Kleenex’, ‘Xerox’ in English, or ‘poubelle’ in French).

union amicale de peinture