Posters have been the broad disseminator of ideas and images that have reflected social and cultural changes over the course of history. Given their ease of display on walls and high visibility, posters deliver their messages to the masses in the most effective way. The discovery of colour lithography in the late 1700s/early 1800s was one of the major developments that changed poster design. This technology needed an artist who understood the intricacies of colour balance to develop the poster as an art form: Jules Cheret (1836-1932) was able to combine his artistic talent with his knowledge of lithography and is widely regarded as the father of poster art.
Cheret ingeniously combined modern British printing press machines with a clean-cut approach to colours used in traditional Japanese woodblocks to print more cost effective posters that were bolder and boasted clear and well defined images. A number of notable artists, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), followed his example in experimenting with new printing technologies and, by the late 1800s, posters were transformed into a recognisable art form and quickly became collector’s items.
Poster enthusiasts would venture out at night with damp sponges to remove the latest artwork by Cheret or Toulouse-Lautrec from the walls. Poster exhibitions were held practically every year that further revealed the beauty of this new emerging art form to the public and influenced both advertisers and artists.
Being very topical, posters evoke the styles of the era and have very often survived as the best examples of art movements such as Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Constructivism. To celebrate over 100 years of poster design, here is our current collection of original antique posters dating from the 1890s to mid-1910s:
Visit our website at www.antikbar.co.uk to browse all our original vintage posters from around the world – cinema, travel, advertising, sport, war, propaganda. For more updates, follow us on:
AntikBar is a Member of the International Vintage Poster Dealers’ Association (IVPDA), the London Art Deco Society (LADS) and The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers (LAPADA).