Jules Chéret

Original Prints: Lithographs, Posters


A pioneer in lithography (who began learning the medium as an apprentice in 1849),  Jules Chéret (1836 - 1932)  may well be considered to be the inventor of French poster art, creating the new genre in itself.  He opened his own lithographic workshop in 1866, and he produced well over 1000 posters in his long career.  Parisian streets were soon bedecked in bright colours borne by gay demoiselles, who came to be collectively known as "Chérettes". 

His vigourous Belle Epoque graphic style was ground-breaking, with immediate visual impact and recognition, setting a benchmark for lithographic poster art in the years to come, and serving as inspiration for such artists as Bonnard and Toulouse-Lautrec. 

Jules Chéret, Saxoléine, lithographic poster 1895

Saxoléine  -  Pétrole de Sûreté

Broido 954

lithographic poster in four colours, 1895, the rare first state, before letters.

Jules Chéret made a full series of posters for this popular brand of lamp oil, of which the present impression is one of the most successful and best known. 

Printed before the standard Chaix edition that was placarded across Paris in large numbers, this particular proof impression was never posted and thus shows the vivid and refined chromatics of its inception.