Artist of the Montmartre
May – October 2024
The Italian artist Leonette Cappiello (1875-1942) is known for his powerful, colorful posters, but was also a painter and decorator. His career takes off when he moves to Paris during the fin de siècle. Here he created a sensation with his drawings and caricatures for magazines such as L’Assiette au Beurre and Le Rire. In Montmartre he came into contact with artists such as Jules Chéret (1836-1932), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923). Their colorful lithographs and posters decorated the streets of Paris. Inspired, Cappiello develops his own innovative style. His poster for Chocolat Klaus caused a true revolution; he places a woman in a green dress on a red horse against a deep, black background. The product that is advertised is completely absent. His visual language is innovative and shocking, but it ensures recognition and works excellently as an advertising tool. With this Cappiello, like Chéret and Lautrec, created a new artistic and visual language. As a result, he is now often reffered to as the ‘father of the modern poster’.
In the exhibition ‘Leonetto Cappiello: artist of Montmartre‘, the Dutch Museum of Lithography will show for the first time a broad overview of the oeuvre of this important artist and poster designer.