Jules Chéret

The elegant forms and brilliant colours of Cheret’s advertisements became one of the most admired and iconic of Parisian art, immortalizing the ebullient days of the Belle Époque before with the First World War changed the spirit of Europe forever.

Previously posters for street advertising had been conceived virtually entirely in terms of lettering. Cheret’s revolutionary idea was that the visual impact should be made through pictorial imagery printed in colour lithography.

When Cheret established his poster studio in the 1870’s his studies of fashionable girls, brightly dressed and in stylish poses, became a familiar and much admired aspect of the streets of Paris. Known as Cherettes, elegant, joyous and often daring, these figures influenced an entire generation of women who previously had been limited to two dimensional representations – puritan or prostitute.

Although Cheret’s first lithographs were for street wall posters, he quickly adapted his work to the smaller format of posters for café interiors. Les Affiches Illustrés consisted of a selection of some of the most important of Cheret’s posters by some of Paris’s most influential artists.  Printed by the artist in 1896, it served as a kind of retrospective of his oeuvre.  Issued in limited numbers, surviving examples are today rare.

Below are a few examples from this collection. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution with details of the work itself. For the full list of original antique Cheret posters available,  please do contact us.