Advertising Vintage Posters - A Century of Passionate Collecting
During the 1890's, the otherwise gray and bleak streets
of Paris were decorated, as if for a festival, with colorful advertising
posters by some of the finest artists of the time.
Renowned art connoisseurs and critics as well as people in the streets,
were delighted by this new contemporary art. The artists considered
the advertising poster the best way of exhibiting their talents to
the widest public without compromising their artistic sensibilities,
thus, Paris became an open air museum
Occasionally burglaries of
freshly hung posters right off their billboards found their way to eager
print sellers and collectors. Today, we rarely see vintage posters available in
an unblemished state as many have been somewhat marred over time and few
have a flawless appearance. At the turn of the century it became fashionable
to collect advertising vintage posters. The 'open air museum' was brought into
the home and was viewed as a charming and new way of decorating. The passion
for vintage poster collecting (some collectors amassed 500 to 600 different vintage posters)
crossed the Atlantic and by 1896 there were an estimated 6000 American collectors of the vintage poster.
Had it not been for these zealous collectors, few vintage posters would be
Jules Cheret, who perfected the advertising vintage poster with his gaiety
and talent, made this new art form so desirable that in 1899 he was awarded
the Legion of Honor. Toulouse-Lautrec created the vintage poster that reflected the bohemian
culture and joie de vivre of Montmartre, often incorporating his notorious associates
in the images. Some of the other master posterists of the era were Pal, Gray, Lefevre,
Georges Meunier, Pean, Choubrac, Misti, Grun, and of course, Alphonse Mucha and his numerous
followers who perfected the Art Nouveau style. In fact, many vintage posters of anonymous
origin of the Belle Epoque era are equally wonderful and collectible. Cappiello
became famous as a posterist in 1900 and continued to be very popular throughout the
Art Deco era. His use of bold colors, wit and humor insured his immediate popularity.
During this Art Deco era, the vintage posters of Cassandre, D'Ylen as well as Cappiello and others
captured the smooth sensuous geometry of this modern and streamlined society.
In recent years, the accomplished vintage poster artist Villemot (who lived until 1989)
excelled with advertising posters visually sparse and near abstract in content, yet saturated
with rich color resulting in desirable and highly collectible artworks.
Although vintage poster collecting continues to be very popular,
an advertising vintage poster is increasingly difficult to find making our search
more demanding. Museums throughout the world exhibit vintage posters regularly
and have them in their permanent collections: in New York, the Metropolitan
Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art; in Paris, the Louvre; in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum; in Washington D.C., the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute; in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, to name a few.
An authentic advertising vintage poster is indeed a world-class art
form appreciating in value while being a joy to own. At La Belle Epoque
we currently have over 3,000 original Art Nouveau and Art Deco vintage
posters, from the Belle Epoque era (1880's) through modern times (1990's). We offer
expertise in building and enhancing your collection. Luxuriate in big artwork
worthy of investment in a Vintage Poster.
La Belle Epoque specializes in creative custom conservation
framing for vintage poster and all your needs in a great variety of styles. Our exquisitely
crafted frames and painstakingly designed framing solutions are the perfect
complement to your unique works of art, documents, heirlooms, objects and ephemera.
Click on this link to view our
Vintage Posters collection
All prices are subject to change without notice.
Title to all merchandise will remain property of La Belle Epoque, Ltd. until payment is fulfilled.
La Belle Epoque is not responsible for typographical errors found in this website.