Maitre De L’Affiche Plate #73

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Maitre De L’Affiche Plate #73
• Category: Les Maitres de L’Affiche
• Artist: Jules Cheret / imprimerie Chaix
• Circa: 1896
• Origin: France
• Dimensions: 11 1/4 x 15 1/2 in.

Jules Chéret’s 1893 poster advertising Loïe Fuller’s performances at the Folies Bergère is one of the most iconic images of Art Nouveau. Utilizing the new technology of chromolithography, it reproduced the brilliant colors Fuller achieved on stage with the new technology of electric lighting. It appeared in four different color combinations and was later re-printed in Chéret’s Maître d’Affiche, a small-format collection of poster art. Although compelling, the image is hardly a likeness of Fuller and the flagrant exposure of the dancer’s physique is pure fantasy.

Maîtres de l’Affiche (Masters of the Poster) refers to 256 color lithographic plates used to create an art publication during the Belle Époque in Paris, France. The collection, reproduced from the original works of ninety-seven artists in a smaller 11 x 15 inch format, was put together by Jules Chéret, the father of poster art.
The varied selection of prints were sold in packages of four and delivered monthly to subscribers. On sixteen occasions during the selling period between December 1895 through November 1900, the monthly package included a bonus of a specially created lithograph.
Lithographs from this series are some of the best posters of the Belle Epoque. Images by Cheret, Livemont, Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha and others became widely popular. At that time, Cheret thought many would enjoy to have best posters from around the world that could be admired in a smaller, more usable format. The series was a huge success and today are highly collectible. Some of the Maitres are often as rare as the original large format posters.