Cheret, Jules

1836 – 1932

Born in Paris and raised in a bohemian environment, Jules Cheret began his exploration of printmaking at the age of 13 with an apprenticeship in a lithographer’s atelier.  He continued his studies in London where he honed his distinctive style – a blend of British poster design combined with the Rococo aesthetic of French artists Fragonard and Watteau.  Cheret’s gay and colorful poster designs for theaters, cabarets and music halls became enormously popular and he soon expanded his repertoire to include advertising for food and beverages, perfumes and soaps, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals – even railroad companies!

Cheret’s signature was the free-spirited woman, neither puritan nor prostitute but elegant and fun loving.  These poster ladies were known as “Cherettes” and he earned the moniker the “Father of women’s liberation”.  Jules Cheret’s popularity and success earned him the Légion d’honneur for his outstanding contribution to the graphic arts, and the gratitude of millions who delight in his charming designs to this day.