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Cherets Lithographic Posters Essay Research Paper Although

Cheret`s Lithographic Posters Essay, Research Paper Although lithography was invented in 1798, it was at first too slow and expensive for poster production. Most posters were woodblocks or metal

Cheret`s Lithographic Posters Essay, Research Paper

Although lithography was invented in 1798, it was at first too slow and

expensive for poster production. Most posters were woodblocks or metal

engravings with little color or design. This all changed with Cheret?s

"three stone lithographic process," a breakthrough which allowed

artists to achieve every color in the spectrum with as little as three stones -

red, yellow and blue – printed in careful registration. Although the process was

difficult, the result was a remarkable intensity of color and texture, with

sublime transparencies and nuances impossible in other media (even to this day).

This ability to combine word and image in such an attractive and economical

format finally made the lithographic poster a powerful innovation. Starting in

the 1870s in Paris, it became the dominant means of mass communication in the

rapidly growing cities of Europe and America. In France especially, as the

industrial age grew, the average person had more time for themselves. They

became better educated. They were becoming readers, theater goers, music and art

lovers. It seems as though the French developed a keener sense of art and style,

ahead of everyone else. Paris became the center for culture and artistic

excellence, during this period These were changing times. The middle class

started to have access to consumer goods. This new consumer-oriented economy

created a need for a medium to reach the masses of people with product

information. The poster filled this need. To reach the people they had to be

loud, colorful, easy to read and easy to understand. More importantly they had

to be inexpensive as they only lasted for such a short period of time. Jules

Cheret pioneered color lithography as an economical means of advertising. His

innovations with color and shading produced images that convey their message in

a matter of seconds while still proving interesting more than one hundred years

later with complex and subtle color harmonies. More than any other artist,

Cheret gives us a vision of Paris in the 1890’s: an outdoor caf? society

leisurely strolling the boulevards on a Sunday afternoon. This represents an

idealized fantasy, devoid of poverty, class struggle, and conflict. Classic

posters, are examples of great advertising, combining esthetics with direct

communication resulting in a message with resonance. In advertising, you can

only sell two things: a product that fulfills a need or artificially creates

good feelings. These posters are the epitome of feel-good art and that is what

gives them their compelling appeal. One of the main reason posters are so

valuable, is because they show the changes in society, as well as the society

itself. Whether or not the poster is designed by a "recognized"

artist, when it has aesthetic qualities or particular merit, the poster can

change its status from being the means of a common advertisement, it can become

a work of art in its own right. So for a good number of them, the border between

advertising medium and work of fine art becomes very blurred.

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