Jules Cheret (1836-1932) French painter and lithographer who became known as a master of Belle Époque poster art and is recognised as the ‘father of the modern poster.’
Born in Paris to a poor but creative family of artisans. At the of age thirteen, he began a three-year apprenticeship with a lithographer and then his interest in painting led him to take an art course at the Ecole Nationale de Dessin. From 1859 to 1866, he trained in lithography in London and on returning to France, created vivid poster ads for the cabarets, music halls, and theatres such as the Eldorado, the Olympia, the Folies Bergere, Theatre de l’Opera, the Alcazar d’Ete and the Moulin Rouge.
In 1895, Cheret created the series Maitres de l’Affiche, a collection of reduced posters of ninety-seven Parisian artists. This series was pivotal in the reassessment of posters being seen as merely advertising works but viewed for the first time as works of art. His success inspired an industry that saw the emergence of a new generation of poster designers and painters such as Charles Gesmar and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
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