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CAPPIELLO Leonetto

Italian ( 1875 - 1942 )

Leonetto Cappiello is often called the father of the Modern Poster. His posters are a sequel to the works of the artists such as Villemot, Cheret and Pal. The Italian born artist, born in Leghorn in 1875, became famous in 1900 and created posters in Paris for over forty years. In the beginning, he became quite popular as a caricaturist working for magazines. His style was humorous and joyful, with bold colors and he went on to become a successful posterist just at a time when the output of the 1890's had begun to slow. Cappiello was the poster artist to work in the traditions of the nineteenth century. Cappiello had a clear antecedents in his style but he developed an entirely original approach to the means of portraying the pictorial message. By means of wide color planes and highly exaggerated colors and situations, he shocked, surprised and moved. He began his career with a very gestural style and then went on to lead the bold graphic style of the Art Deco movement as it flowered in the 1902's and 30's. He designed posters for ballets, literature, plays and music halls, champagne and spirits bottles and even travel. He produced approximately 3,000 lithographic posters, making him the most prestigious artist in the history of the lithographic poster. In 1981, a major retrospective of Cappiello's work was presented at the Galerie Nationale du Grand Palais in Paris.






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