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Jules Cheret

Michael Buxton

Jules Cheret

Artist Biography

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Jules Cheret

Jules Chéret was born in 1836 in France and dies in 1932. He is considered the father of the modern poster. Born in Paris, he studied lithography, which was, at that time, a new, more economical method of reproducing colored designs. His research into this revolutionary process took him to London where he remained until 1866. He then returned to Paris and set up his own shop where he began printing theatrical art, prints and posters in a remarkably innovative way.

Chéret used these lithographic techniques to create lively, mobile images. His sense of design, his free-hand style, and his ability to smoothly incorporate written messages into his pictures were skills that combined to produce posters that attracted immediate attention and interest.

Like Toulouse-Lautrec after him, Chéret was influenced by the Post-Impressionists and by Japanese prints. He used more detail, and depicted inviting, unframed scenes of figures caught in mid-action. Chéret’s art, prints and posters contained an unusually large amount of lettering, which brought the advertising component of his designs into prominence. His principles of good poster design influenced Toulouse-Lautrec, and paved the way for the many other poster artists of the day. Although rather bold in style at the turn of the century, Chéret later returned to a milder, more impressionistic treatment of his subjects.

Jules Cheret Art, Prints and Posters Collection