Perusing the poster arts




Art Nouveau poster of a woman in a white gown driving a vintage car

Italian Art Nouveau – Mario Borgoni, 1923




The defining art of posters  


Poster art has been a mainstay for defining cultural trends and styles, especially since the beginning of the 20th century. It was quickly recognized that minimal, striking designs with succinct messages and slogans, reinforced with a symbol, had the incisive power to penetrate the mass consciousness and market. Repetitive visual application went a long way to establishing a brand and building sales. The growing industrialization nourished increasing consumerism and advertising budgets which led to greater investment in the quality of artistic design and production of posters. Advertisers became highly motivated to research the foibles and attractions towards the purchasing habits of the public and learn how to capture their imagination.



‘Circuit de Milan, Monza’, 1922  Poster by Aldo Mazza


Prior to the emergence of the electronic media, posters had become one of the premium mediums in marketing and were one of the first forms of invasive mass advertising where the audience was confronted with the message irrespective of their interest. Posters became a powerful means for reinforcing design trends and even establishing them. The most poignant visual elements of a particular genre were extracted by advertising designers and utilized for marketing.

The contemporary poster had its genesis back in the 1840s and 1850s when the printing industry perfected colour lithography and made mass production possible. Advertisers began to market mass-produced consumer goods to a growing populace in urban areas and by the 1890s, the technique had spread throughout Europe. A number of noted French artists created poster art in this period, foremost amongst them were Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Chéret, Eugène Grasset, Adolphe Willette, Pierre Bonnard, Louis Anguetin, Georges de Feure and Henri-Gabriel Ibels. Alfred Mucha helped launch the Art Nouveau movement with his Sarah Bernhardt Gismonda poster, which was an overnight success. Gradually more textural and graphic elements were introduced into poster art, along with bolder colour palettes. Tight deadlines and lower budget posters, restricted to one or two colours, led to a greater emphasis being placed on design and graphics, to maximize visual impact. This led to a new wave of artistic presentation with minimalized design, which had a natural symbiosis with simplified modernist trends that were evolving at the beginning of the century.
Politics also exploited the market penetration of posters and along with flyers became an effective means for revolutionaries to be heard, which was exemplified with their use in stirring up negative sentiment against the aristocracy during the French Revolution and was also widely used by the Bolshevics with their constuctivist posters. The growth of the movie industry at this time also led to the elaborate sized posters being developed for promotions.
As a means for discovering insights into the popular trends of the last 175 years, the poster has provided a vivid encapsulation and record of the potent visuals through different eras. The spread of new art movements were greatly enhanced by the adaption of artists to express themselves through this medium.



Hughs rocket furue poster NY World Fair

1939 World Fair – Rocketman





Swiss poster by Carl Moos


Pullman Gallery




Vanity Fair Cover October 1924 Poster Print by William Bolin at the Condé Nast Collection





Italian Bugatti sports car poster, 1910




1933-le-sourire-magazine - a lady at the seaside dressed in a black and white striped outfit

‘Le Sourire’ magazine




1950-the-black-cat-poulwebb-blogspot-co Universal movie poster

The Black Cat movie poster






Vogue magazine “Jazz Age” cover – William Bolin


perpetual purveyors of style




Art Deco poster print




art-poster-le-corbusier absract art

Abstract poster 1954 – Le Corbusier



bauhaus-poster by sharkaholic on Devient Art

‘Bauhaus Nude’ – Sharkaholic

Deviant Art




Jazz and Heritage Festival 2001 Louis Armstrong

New Orleans Jazz Festival – James Michalopoulos

Art4Now – 2001




Art Deco Telefunken poster

30’s Telefunken Art Deco



Anis Del Tigre, Spain



Cafe Nitro by Michael L. Kungl

Cafe Nitro by Michael L. Kungl




‘Models for the costumes of a ballet’  by Anatol Petrytzky

Avant Garde, Bauhaus inspired ballet costume designs by Anatol Petrytzky circa 1920s




cardwell-higgins-art-deco poster - "A Delightful Page In The Record of My Existence."

“A Delightful Page In The Record of My Existence.” – Cardwell Higgins

Aubrey Beardsley / Harry Clarke inspired fantasy scene from c.1928

1st Dibs   Grapefruit Moon Gallery




Art Deco Chassaing-poster-1930-sarah-stocking-fine-antique-posters

Poster by Jean Chassaing, advertising ‘La Ligne Aurore’, a line of women’s shoes


Sarah Stocking Fine Antique Posters



cotton-club-rhyth-maniap poster

Jazz Age Cotton Club poster for revue ‘Rhyth Mania’ – 1931




 Poster Print by Eduardo Garcia Benito

Vogue Cover  October 1931 – Condé Nast Collection





“Treacherous Waters” by Victo Ngai




distillerie-italiane-1899 Art Nouveau poster

Distillerie Italiane Art Nouveau poster




edison-mazda-2-egyptian-night art print by Maxfield Parish

‘Egyptian Night’  – Maxfield Parish Egyptomania




 Revista De Revistas –  Ernesto (El Chango) Garcia Cabral

Mexico, 1920s



Erte - Romain de Tirtoff art deco illustration

 Ertre aka Romain de Tirtoff




Erte – Romain de Tirtoff




ernesto-garcia-cabral el-chango-www-kaifineart

Mexican Illustrator  Ernesto Garcia Cabral (el-chango) for Revista De Revistas magazine





French Spa of Eugénie les Bains in the French Pyrénées – Bernard Villemot




fiat-art-deco-poster, Italy Marcello Dudovich

Italian Art Deco Lithographic poster – Marcello Dudvich




fortunato-depero-futurism-paintings Moon Dance

‘Danzatrici lunari’ (Moon Dance) – Fortunato Depero – Italian Futurism




found-on-aisledash-com Art Deco style poster 2005

2005 Art Deco style poster




Roaring Twenties by Gerda Wegener ( watercolor)





 Revista De Revistas –  Ernesto (El Chango) Garcia Cabral





German Art Deco Spa poster



ichiro-tsuruta art deco head shot

Retro Art Deco – Ichiro Tsuruta




Illustration by Cheri Herouard For La Vie Parisienne

January 1929



dorte-clara-wolff-dodo watercolor 'Descent'

‘Descent’ – Dorte Clara Wolff (dodo)





Mexican Tourist Association poster





Illustration by George Barbier For La Vie Parisienne 1918




kim-xu art That's Shanghai

‘That’s Shanghai’ – Kim Xu



illustration-by-george-leonnec-for-la-vie-parisienne november-1922

Illustration by George Leonnec For La Vie Parisienne

November 1922



king-kong-by-la-boca Art Deco style poster art

King Kong poster – La Boca, UK



le-paquebot-france-norway antique poster

French Art deco poster





Lilian Bond –  photo by Elmer Fryer





Vogue Cover Poster Print by Pierre Mourgue at the Condé Nast Collection

  November 1933




nerma-french-cigarettes poster Egyptian Revival

Egyptian Revival ‘Nerma Cigarettes’ poster



nick-gaetano-dallas-rising - Pegasus and female water bearer

‘Dallas Rising’ – Nick Gaetano




La Meuse French beer




rene-gruau-French fashion-illustrator

French fashion illustrator Rene Gruau




Image by Eileen Mayo (1906-1994) featuring traditional artwork and symbols from the Dreamtime stories of an emu and an Indigenous Aboriginal Australian wearing corroboree head-dress




French Peugeot motorcycle poster



poster-art French fashion illustrator Rene Gruau

 Illustrator Rene Gruau



poster-bohemia africanism art deco

Africanism poster



ramon-casas-barcelona Art Nouveau poster art

Art Nouveau poster – Ramon Casas, Barcelona




‘Reine De Joie,’ (queen of joy) – French Belle Époque Period Poster by Toulouse-Lautrec


Colletti Gallery




Soviet constructivist style poster with retro robot – Zoki Cardula



cuba-travel-poster male and female Cubans dancing on a congo drum

Cubano Del Turismo poster




Jean Carlu Art Deco poster of comedienne, Pepa Bonafe, using the image of the two theater masks (comedy and tragedy) and the performer’s profile.


Sarah Stocking Fine Antique Posters





Art Nouveau – Alexandre Steinlen Motocycles Comiot




TWA travel poster




1964 Soviet Space Propaganda Poster: USSR Birthplace Of Cosmonautics




vanity-fair-cover-july-1927 by William Bolin

Vanity Fair cover – William Bolin





Italian Vespa poster




Havana Bistro Cuban poster

Artist Kyla Evans



issuu-art-deco- favourite-mistress-dodo-burgner

Dodo Burgner ‘Frauchens Liebling’ (Favourite Mistress)




william-bolin-april-1927 Vogue cover

Vogue cover by  William Bolin




Italian Futurist  Aviation Poster by Luigi Martinati


Colletti Gallery




Fine art giclee print of a vintage French travel poster featuring travel to Bagneres de Luchon by Jules Cheret. Celebrated for its total of forty eight thermal springs.




Paul Colin art deco Peugeot poster



Science fiction travel poster

Science Fiction Neptune travel poster




black female silhouette guerlain poster

La Petite Robe Noire Couture Perfume




Fifties travel poster classic design

Retro 50’s poster Spanish designer, Fantastic Hysteria





NEXT POST  —  Mother and child sculptures



  1. Judith Kuppersmith
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I loved, loved , loved the posters–what a great collection! What fun to see today
    amidst all the angst of the times. Thank you!

  2. Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Great collection. Fun to look through them.

    Thank you
    Monica van den Berg

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  1. By Cruising thru the clayniverse on October 24, 2017 at 2:02 pm

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