Toulouse-Lautrec was a pioneer of the modern poster. He was quick to capitalise on the new process of colour lithography which meant posters could be recreated multiple times, making them perfect for commercial use. They were used to advertise products, performers and places in this thrilling era.
Partly by Lautrec’s example, other leading artists also became poster designers in the 1890s. Over 80 stunning posters will be coming to Bath from their usual home in Brussels by other leading artists of time such as Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, Alfons Mucha, Pierre Bonnard, Jules Chéret, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Eugène Grasset and more.
Alfons Mucha (1860 -1939) was a Czech born artist and moved to Paris in 1888. He was famous for his theatrical posters of Sarah Bernhardt. These led to commissions for advertising posters; many were striking in their scale.
Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859 –1923) was a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker. ‘Le Chat Noir’ (1896) is one of his most recognisable prints. Along with the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergère, Le Chat Noir was one of the key venues in Montmartre during the Bohemian era. It was famous for its lively cabaret, music hall and attracted famous performers and artists. This exhibition will be your chance to see the real thing as it would have been shown on the streets of Paris.
Every single donation will help us to make this exhibition a reality for you to step back in time and experience Toulouse-Lautrec’s Parisian world. Thank you to everyone who has already given. We’d love it if you could help even more by sharing our campaign with family and friends.
photos © Musée d'Ixelles-Bruxelles / Courtesy of Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen