Cappiello - Master Poster Artist!

Posted by karen ETINGIN on March 18, 2011 0 Comments


When I started collecting posters, I knew very little other than there were some posters I liked and some I didn't. Cappiello, Mucha, Steinlen, Cheret - these names meant nothing to me. But after almost 25 years in the poster collecting and dealing world, I have started to look at these men (because it was largely men who designed posters) as some of the most talented, driven and forward-thinking artists of their time.

Cappiello was one of the first poster designers who recognized that the message - and the way it is delivered - was almost as important (if not more important) than the product itself. His unique style and use of colour was later copied extensively, but his first works show such a clear determination and understanding of marketing and product-driven which modern marketeers could certainly learn from.

One of Cappiello's first contracts in Paris (in 1899) was to create a portfolio of pochoirs of some of the lading actresses of the time in the roles and costumes for which they were famous. Although these works differ in style and content from his later posters, if you look closely you can clearly see how he uses he least possible amount of lines and detail to get his message across. (We have the entire set of pochoirs in the gallery and here in our on line shop at He uses humour, colour, small but startling details - all to the greatest effect....

His larger posters - Nil, Veuve Amiot, Cachou Lajaunie  are amongst the most iconic - all show an evolution in style and confidence which is unmatched (at least in my mind) amongst other poster artists. I feel honoured and pleased to showcase his work at L'Affichiste...

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