Long before images of pinup girls became popular in the mid-twentieth century, there were the “Chérettes” of Belle Époque Paris. Named after popular French artist Jules Chéret, who revolutionized the color printing process, these idealized women were displayed in a host of advertising posters throughout the city. Featuring exotic new fonts, bright hues, and sinuous lines, these posters became the subject of intense public fascination. Some critics even claimed them to be superior to the paintings exhibited in art museums. And when collectors began to steal them as quickly as they could be pasted up, a new term was coined: affichomanie
, or “poster mania.”
Why did people think these posters were so interesting? To put it simply, they had never seen anything like them before. And they were fun to look at: bold, colorful, and large. They became a vital element of an art style called Art Nouveau, or “New Art,” which was highly popular in both Europe and North America from about 1890 to 1914. In its organic elements, Art Nouveau was seen as a reaction to the rapid growth of industrial manufacturing.
This coloring book contains twenty-two line drawings of Art Nouveau posters for you to color. The full-color posters are shown as small pictures on the inside front and back covers. When you color in the line drawings, you can copy the original colors or you can be a trendsetter. We’ve left a blank page in the back of the book so you can create your very own sensation. And don’t forget to sign your work with a flourish!
Sample of Selections:
- Jules Chéret (French, 1836–1932), Halle aux Chapeaux, 1892.
- Georges Lefèvre (French, 1876–1953), Galeries Artistiques, 1900.
- Privat Livemont (Belgian, 1861–1936), Cacao Van Houten, 1897.
- Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (Swiss, 1859–1923), Lait pur Stérilisé, 1894.
- W.H.W., Dunlop Cycles.