Sunday, 18 July 2010

Riri, Polo and Lino

The three aristocrats of the housepainter’s brush, Riri, Polo and Lino first appeared in the service of Ripolin in a poster designed by Émile Vavasseur (1863-1949) in 1913. After almost a century of inscribing the virtues of Ripolin on each other’s smocks, their faded images can still occasionally be seen, locked in their curious formation, on gable ends in France and Belgium. Ripolin seems to have withdrawn from the UK market since the time of these ads but remains on sale in Europe. Picasso used to shop for Ripolin Enamels to combine the proletarian vigour of Ripolin with the refinement of traditional oil paint. If nothing else, the use of such humble material enabled the artist to repel any accusation of excessive artiness. None of which discouraged Ripolin from advertising their product as The Ideal Paint for Artistic Homes.

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