Belle Époque (1871-1914)

Posters from the Belle Epoque are characterized by Jules Cheret's three stone lithographic process (typically red, blue, and yellow) which allowed artists to create colourful artworks at a low cost that were immediately distinguishable from the popular black and white engravings. Meanwhile, France's rising middle-class artists were hell-bent on breaking from the rigidity of the Academy and its strict definition of beauty as the sole object worth pursuing. Artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and fellow Post-Impressionists wanted to produce works which spoke to creative freedoms and personal expression.