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About the Work
Gladiator Bicycles (Plate 86)
original stone lithograph (c.1897)
image size: 13.5 x 9
About the Artist
“Les Maitres De L’Affiche” (The Masters of the Poster) is a phrase that refers to one of the most prestigious and influential art publications in history. The 256 color plates that make up the suite represent a wide-ranging selection of outstanding original posters from the turn of the twentieth century when this popular art form first reached its peak. Early printed posters were very text-heavy, with relatively few illustrations. After all, they were created to advertise products, and adding an illustration to an advertisement in the mid-1800s was not commonplace. However, during the second half of the nineteenth century, when all types of commercial products were aesthetically upgraded, serious artists began to see the new possibilities in the poster medium. By linking their imagery to modern commerce, the thinking was that each would be enhanced by the value of the other.