The Poster Journal
Jules Cheret: The Father of the Modern Poster
Jules Cheret (1836 - 1932) is known as the Father of the modern poster. He made a number of great contributions to the art of posters and made significant advancements in the technical production of printed media by making rapid color printing in volume possible. He was the first person to produce posters in mass through color lithography and played a major role in the transformation of poster design giving it an identity distinct from other fields of art at the time. Cheret was not interested in merely presenting a product he believed the poster must produce an emotional reaction in the viewer, such as curiosity, amusement or excitement.
Cheret was influenced by the scenes of frivolity depicted in works by rococo artists such as Jean-Honore Fragonard. He entered the world of theatre through designing posters for plays, musicals and municipal festivals and gained notoriety through his depiction of modestly free-spirited women. It was with these joyous and lively works that he became known as the father of the women's liberation. Cheretˆs women were elegantly wild and were usually shown participating in activities formerly taboo; such as smoking in public.
From humble beginnings Cheret became an advertising force who created posters for theaters, perfumes, liquors, pharmaceutical products, soaps and cosmetics. Today he is widely revered and collected.