If you're a fan of Art Nouveau and vintage posters, then you're sure to love the art of absinthe advertising. This type of poster was popular in the late 19th century and helped give absinthe its enigmatic reputation. The artists who created these posters were able to capitalize on the drink's popularity by featuring it in their work. In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the most interesting absinthe advertising posters from that time period. l also explore the Art Nouveau movement and how it influenced this type of poster art.
How Posters Became Art
La Belle Époque was a flourishing period of high artistic and cultural development in France, where French art and literature transformed culture that lasted from 1871 to 1914.
One area of Parisian art that transformed itself was graphic design, thanks to Frenchman Jules Chéret who initiated color lithography, a printing process that made fast and affordable prints. Chéret became known as the father of modern printing. This new printing technique of the late 19th century immortalized the poster. In turn, the artists of the era immortalized Paris's cafes, cabarets, clubs, and theaters.
After Chéret's initial poster success, he smartly commissioned artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Alphonse Mucha, and Eugène Grasset to produce posters. With such talent commanding attention, posters became the main medium of spreading the Art Nouveau style.
Absinthe and Art Unite
The use of the Green Fairy as a symbol for absinthe made advertisements and the poster movement of the time unique.
At the time, no other spirit had a symbol. Most products either visualized what the spirit was made from (wine and grapes, vodka and potatoes) or the packaging/labels of the bottles. The modern advertisers of La Belle Époque period used the Green Fairy symbol to their advantage. Poster artists capitalized on the popularity of Absinthe by featuring it in their poster art, thus elevating Absinthe to its enigmatic reputation and making it increasingly popular.
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Vintage Absinthe Posters
Absinthe Parisienne, Vintage Poster, by Gelis Didot & Maltese 1892
Nover - Absinthe Blanqui, Nice, c. 1900s.
T. Privat Livemont Poster for Absinthe Robette 1896
Absinthe Extra-Superior (Absinthe Extra-Supérieure) - J. Édouard Pernot Brand by Leonetto Cappiello
Absinthe Ducros Fils vintage by Leonetto Cappiello