Jules Cheret

As his work became more popular and his large posters displaying modestly free-spirited females found a larger audience, pundits began calling him the "father of the women's liberation. Females had previously been depicted in art as prostitutes or puritans. The women of Chéret's posters, joyous, elegant and lively, Cherettes. as they were popularly called, were neither. It was freeing for the women of Paris, and heralded a noticeably more open atmosphere in Paris where women were able to engage in formerly taboo activities, such as wearing low-cut bodices and smoking in public. These 'Cherettes' were widely seen and recognised, and a writer of the time said "It is difficult to conceive of Paris without its 'Cheréts' . In 1895, Chéret created the Maîtres de l'Affiche collection, a significant art publication of smaller sized reproductions featuring the best works of ninety-seven Parisian artists. His success inspired an industry that saw the emergence of a new generation of poster designers and painters such as Charles Gesmar and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. One of his students was Georges de Feure. In his old age Jules Chéret retired to the pleasant climate of the French Riviera at Nice. He died in 1932 at the age of ninety-six and was interred in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur by the French Government in 1890 for his outstanding contributions to the graphic arts. Although his paintings earned him a certain respect, it was his work creating advertising posters, taken on just to pay his bills but eventually his dedication, for which he is remembered today. In 1933 he was honoured with a posthumous exhibition of his work at the prestigious Salon d'Automne in Paris. Over the years, Chéret's posters became much sought after by collectors from around the world
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