Parisian’s of the Belle Epoque hated the Eiffel Tower. Now the legendary landmark of the city, the Tower was the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair. It was to stand 20 years but after that the city originally intended to dismantle it. Instead it become a sensation to travelers the world over as well as an important communications tower. In 1893, the Theatre deal Tour Eiffel opened in the renovated first level restaurant. This is Cheret’s opening poster for the event. This is the Affiches Illustrees version, framed.
Perhaps the most famous of all Parisian music halls, the Moulin Rouge, with the distinctive red windmill on its roof, remains the center of the Pigalle Quarter. Considered the home of the Can-Can, and a favorite of great artists including Toulouse-Lautrec, the Moulin Rouge remains the center of Paris night life. Cheret created many posters for the “Ref Mill” including this one for the 1889 Grand Opening. This is the 1899 Affiches Illustrees version, framed.
From the master, Jules Cheret, Olympia is the poster for the 1893 re-opening of the oldest surviving Parisian music hall. When it first opened in 1889 it was known as “Montagnes Russes” which is French for Roller Coaster. That name was thought to describe the wild time one would have in the hall. This is the 1899 Affiches Illustrees version of Cheret’s original. It is framed.
In the Belle Epoque, when lands far away were mysterious and exotic, promoters would stage great shows and exhibitions that featured the culture and excitement of these magical lands. Exposition Russe was such an event that featured horses and Cossacks dashing about and doing all things Russian. The Champ de Mars is the large green space between the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire.
Poster collecting has always been a passion. In 1895, when the poster as an art form was in its infancy, Jules Cheret created a subscription series, Maîtres de L’Affiche (Masters of the Poster) based on famous posters of the time. Issued in a small 11” x 15” format, subscribers would receive four posters every month for a year. Cheret, a famous poster artist in his own right, included one of his posters in each monthly packet of four. Other famous artists in the group included Toulouse Lautrec, Steinlen and Mucha. The series lasted for five years and 256 Maîtres were created (special posters were issued at year’s end). Today, most all of the Maîtres remain, and are highly collectible. This is Maîtres Plate 177 by Cheret, issued in 1899.