The Story of Art Nouveau
Chéret created this poster to advertise a production at the Grévin Museum. This venue is a Paris original: a waxworks founded around 1880 by caricaturist Alfred Grévin, it included a 500 seat auditorium where live performances were given to supplement the meager income Grévin was making from admissions to the museum part of the operation. The theater had mirrored walls, and Chéret painted the ceiling. The presentations included a mix of magic shows, revues and concerts - anything to bring the patrons. What is perhaps most amazing is that the Musée Grévin is still in business today.
Signature: Signed and dated on the stone at the center right edge Cheret/1900.
The father of modern poster art and a critical figure in the development of the French Belle Époque style, Jules Chéret was the first artist to work with color lithography. Finding little success in France due in part to inadequate printing technology, Chéret moved to London and began designing perfume packaging for Rimmel during the 1860s. Rimmel became Chéret’s patron and financed his commercial lithography studio in Paris. The artist’s free-spirited, Rococo-style female figures, dubbed “Chérettes,” came to not only define Belle Époque advertising but also represent the liberated Parisian woman. Later artists such as Charles Gesmar and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec mimicked his style. Although Chéret had a talent for working with oil paint and pastels, he remains best known for his lithographs, which served as the exemplar of poster design and color theory during the late 19th century.
French, 1836-1932, Paris, France, based in Paris, France