top of page

Jules Chéret: Art and poster...

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec said of Jules Chéret (1836-1932): "He has the divine hand of the creator".

Born under the July Monarchy, Jules Chéret captured the eyes of his contemporaries by replacing the black and white posters of his time with color lithographs. He will end his life in Nice, whose Museum of Fine Arts, which brings together nearly two hundred of his works, bears his name. You can admire the talent of the man about whom Apollinaire wrote: "the living, dazzling, electric pastels of the inimitable and so much imitated Jules Chéret".

Jules Cheret. Affiche pour « les Montmartroises »
Jules Cheret. Affiche pour « les Montmartroises »

From 1849, Jules Chéret completed a three-year apprenticeship as a lithographer and enrolled in evening classes at the Petite Ecole (later Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris, where he took lessons from Lecoq de Boisbaudran.

Jules Chéret. Affiche d'Orphée aux Enfers. Source Gallica. Bibliothèque National de France
Jules Chéret. Affiche d'Orphée aux Enfers. Source Gallica. Bibliothèque National de France

His first poster dates from 1855 and the one he produced in 1858 for Offenbach's operetta Orphée aux enfers at the Théâtre de la Gaité was noticed by Gavarni. He lived in London for almost 6 years, from 1859 to 1866 (he would return there briefly during the Paris Commune). There he admired the work of Turner and Constable and befriended the perfumer Eugène Rimmel for whom he designed labels and floral decorations.

Samuel Mützner Meules à Giverny 1908
Jules Chéret. Affiche pour la Saxoléine. 1890. Die Neue Sammlung München

Back in France in 1866, Jules Chéret opened his first lithography workshop in Paris, where he produced hundreds of posters that he designed but also engraved himself on stone. Among the latter, shows such as La Biche aux Bois for the Porte Saint-Martin theatre, or even commercial brands such as Saxoléine, lighting oil.

In 1881, he sold his printing press but remained its artistic director until the end of the century.

Jules Chéret. Mandoline et bouquets. Musée des Beaux Arts de Nice
Jules Chéret. Mandoline et bouquets. Musée des Beaux Arts de Nice
Jules Chéret par Nadar. Vers 1900
Jules Chéret par Nadar. Vers 1900

After 1900, Jules Chéret devoted more time to painting, pastels, red chalk. He creates decorations for the Taverne de Paris, the Prefecture of Nice, the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. Of a pleasant character, he appreciates with great enthusiasm the work of his colleagues. Claude Monet had in his room in Giverny one of his gouaches, dedicated in these terms: "To my dear Claude Monet, his friend and admirer Chéret"




Dans ses conférences d'histoire de l'art, Fabrice Roy conjugue le passé au présent, dans une évocation poétique et ludique du 19ème siècle français...



Comments


bottom of page