Circus & Magic

The color posters by Marci between 1882 and 1914 reflect the most enjoyable aspects of daily life and entertainment. It appears to have been wild, lively time, joyful and light-hearted. Continuing a tradition going back to the Middle Ages, travelling players set up their acts in public squares in pace with the festivals and the seasons. Acrobats on rings, jugglers on balls, eccentric dancers, the monkey man and the phenomenal calculator vied for the audience's approval. The color posters lithographed by Marci between 1918 and 1940 illustrate preoccupations of post-war society. The development of the railways and the introduction of paid holidays (1936) opened up new perspectives. More and more people took up sports. Marci and Co. started printing circus posters again, having already made them their speciality at the end of the 19th century. Only a few copies of these magnificent lithographs were printed, singing the praises of Belgian circus feats, as it is only a small country and the companies were small despite their high quality. They played such a major social role inspiring dreams and wonderment in everyone, everywhere. In fine weather they put up their marquees on public squares, usually during kermesses and fairs. Many of these families of travelling performers came from Gent and spent the winter there, preparing their next tour's acts and taking on this or that acrobat according to their means.