Vintage Advertising Posters
of Leonetto Cappiello

by Elizabeth Norris on Saturday, September 13, 2014

Limited Runs, one of the largest online sellers of original, vintage posters, continues to add original vintage advertising posters to the site. Each week we feature some of our latest additions of original vintage advertising posters which are for sale.

The Unmistakable Vintage Posters of Leonetto Cappiello

When you try to explain your love of vintage posters to friends or family, you’ll find you are often met with a blank stare. Most people don’t realize that actual original posters, printed over 100 years ago, can still be found in today’s’ market, and that they are, in fact, sought after as collectibles and as home décor with value and history. Show those same people a picture of a Cappiello poster such as “Maurin Quina” and the blank stare will change to a smile, “Oh, those posters, of course!”
Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942) was a young Italian artist with a dream when he arrived in Paris. The “city of the light” was known for ambitious artists and unique printing techniques, most notably the first large-formatted posters. Initially, Cappiello had no luck in the coveted poster industry, instead securing a job as a caricaturist and illustrator of humor and satire. When finally commissioned to design posters, he created designs with flat, solid color backgrounds and starkly contrasting figures, techniques mastered via his caricature days.
Cappiello’s designs were wildly different from the soft and detailed posters of his predecessors: Cheret, Choubrac, Pal and Tamagno. By printing one-sheet size posters (hyperlink), with his signature black backgrounds, every other color visually leaped off the page in contrast. Cappiello created startling posters – beginning with “Le Frou Frou” and his distinctive style caught the attention of prominent printers and advertising agents alike. Imagine how striking Cappiello’s bold 5-foot tall posters appeared on the city streets of Paris in 1905 in contrast to the soft, muted colors of his fellow artists! 


Cappiello’s figures are animated with joy, his animals are noble, his devils are mischievous, and each design executed leaves a lasting impression, as well as a clever reference to the brand advertised. It is for this reason that Cappiello is considered to be the “father of modern advertising.”




A century later, the artist’s iconic images such as “Maurin Quina” also known as the ‘Green Devil’

 and “Cremant du Roi” and “Cognac Pellisson” continue to delight viewers and collectors alike.

Over the years, Cappiello posters have quadrupled in value indicating to the collector’s market that Cappiello’s art is here to stay…
Browse through all the Cappiello posters available on Limited Runs

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