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Leonetto Cappiello

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Il Maestro Cappiello elevated the advertising poster to the level of fine Art

Leonetto Cappiello began his career at the end of the 19th century as a caricaturist illustrating in the 'Le Rire' journal. He then went on to become a cartoonist and caricaturist of celebrities of the time in 'Le Cri de Paris', 'Le Sourire', 'L'Assiette au Beurre' and other magazines.

He also collaborated in the journal 'Frou-Frou', for which he created his first poster in 1901. It was natural then that he turned towards this new form of expression which from 1890 underwent considerable development linked to the rapid growth of publicity.

Le passé de la comédie française

1900 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 580.–

Chocolat Klaus - The red horse

Chocolat Klaus

1903 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 14300.–

In 1903, he designed his most famous poster for ‘Chocolat Klaus’. Over a black background, a woman dressed in green is riding a red horse. The text ‘Chocolat Klaus’ stands out in bright yellow. In this poster Cappiello presents a subject that has no link to a product that is not even represented.

The success of this poster was immediate – clients asked for the chocolate ‘with the red horse’. This process, of using a strong identification between product, image and brand is totally innovative. It is reinforced by the simplification of the message which is reduced to the essential, strengthened by the use of bright contrasting colours.

This is the beginning of modern advertising and the understanding of how it works. The importance is in capturing the attention by a visual and aesthetic emotion, even if the subject of the poster has no direct link, then associating this emotion to a trade mark.

Chocolat Klaus, Bouchées assorties

1920 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 420.–

Chocolat Klaus

1920 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 380.–

Following the extraordinary Chocolat Klaus poster, Cappiello produced a series of masterpieces which would mark 20th century advertising.

Il Maestro Cappiello

Leonetto Cappiello made his name during the advertising poster boom period in the early 20th century. He elevated the advertising poster from the street to the level of fine Art.

By transgressing artistic traditions of the Belle époque, he liberated the poster from its constraints and pushed it in a totally new direction that would transform graphic art and the publicity during the 20th century.

Cognac Pellisson

1907 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 2650.–

Campari Cordial liquor

1920 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 2210.–

Colors and a strong concept

Cappiello’s method was based on visual surprise: the poster’s image visually leaps out before the eyes and easily attracts the attention of passers-by. The poster's strength was in the simplicity of the image and it's reduction to an essential message.

On the Campari poster, a jester leaps out of an orange to capture the onlooker's attention. Its vivid colours on a black background makes it even more visible in an urban landscape.

Imagine it, two meters high, decorating a street corner! It would certainly not go unnoticed.

Campari. Bitter Campari, the medium Orange Peel (Jester)

1921 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 5930.–

In the same line of thinking, a devil temptingly uncorks a bottle of Quina vermouth fortified wine, while in a different poster, another figure, clown-like, probably inspired by Pantalone from Commedia Dell'Arte, spits fire, inviting to buy the heated thermal plaster, Thermogène, a cough cure.

His style was to use a strong starting concept, together with dominant lines, curves and intense colors.
He used historical characters, animals, clowns, masked faces...etc, often from the Comedy Dell'arte, contrasted against a colorful or black background. These characters were used to sell all sorts of products and events.

Maurin Quina, Le Puy

1906 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1600.–

Le thermogène engendre la chaleur et combat: toux et rhumatismes, 1949 late autorized edition

1949 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 850.–

Le Thermogène engendre la chaleur, édition Belge

1949 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 830.–

Price upon request

Sold

For Cinzano, Cappiello reused his idea for Chocolat Klaus, but this time with a red zebra and and a Roman senator wearing a toga, making a reference to the Italian origin of the product.

The red recalls the color of vermouth, which together with the green background makes up the colors of the Italian flag. The zebra symbolizes the 2 colors of Cinzano drinks, red or white, to attract attention.
The red Cinzano zebra would be reworked by several other artists such as Savignac or Nico Edel.

Sometimes the link between the image and the product was more evident; the red beard of a Russian to sell a brand of vodka or a priest who rings a bell to signal time for the Angelus prayer, and also time to drink an Angelus, an Italian alcoholic drink.

Vodka Relsky

1925 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 2570.–

Angelus, Liqueur des Salésiens de Dom Bosco

1907 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 800.–

It is often women who are shown offering a glass of Contratto Champagne, or tinned Barbier-Dauphin tomatoes.

Contratto, Cannelli, vermouth

1925 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 450.–

Contratto champagne

1922 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 4200.–

Conserves Barbier Dauphin

1948 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1200.–

He also used historical figures, such as the King of Spain for Agua de Vilajuiga water, François the First for beer or the brother of Louis XIV for Champagne.

For the beer 'Fort-Carré, Cappiello represented Francois the First, who seems very satisfied with its taste. This is a reference to a battle of 1544 in the town of Champagne. Legend says that Francois the First drank a beer there and was very pleased by the welcome of its inhabitants.

Agua de Vilajuiga

1912 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1620.–

Bière du Fort-Carré, anno 1544

1911 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1470.–

Crémant du Roi, Veuve Amiot, grands vins mousseux

1922 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 4200.–

For Amiot Champagne, Cappiello depicted a mannered portrait of Monsieur, the brother of Louis XIV dressed in court costume with all its frills and ribbons. Monsieur greatly appreciated a glass of champagne and tells us with a snobbish gesture.

Champagne has always had a strong link with royalty, since, according to legend, the celebrated glass of champagne shown on this poster had been moulded from the breast of the Marquise de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV. Whatever the slight anachronism present in the poster, this glass did not exist at the time of Louis XIV. What was important to Cappiello was the link between champagne and royalty, the idea of luxury, of celebration, even the hint of decadence offered by the snobbish image of Monsieur.

The Cappiello Style

Cappiello created numerous images which have become mythical in poster history, whether the subject is drinks (Champagne, Absinthe, Anis, Vodka, Pernod, Campari, Cinzano) or banal domestic products rendered sublime by his creative genius like Kub, Baudin, Mossant, Revel, Thermogène, brands of coffee, soaps, chocolates, and many others.

Baudin, la cuisinière des cuisinières

1933 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 2200.–

Le bas Revel, Lyon

1929 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 2500.–

Chapeaux Mossant

1938 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 2800.–

Les pansements "La Croix-Soleil"

1919 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 800.–

Champagne de Castellane, Epernay

1920 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 220.–

Le café Martin

1930 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 220.–

At the time Art Nouveau dominated, but the Cappiello style would now influence dozens of artists all over Europe who would cover street walls with colorful posters, each brighter than the last. Cappiello opened the way for the Art Deco movement which developed from 1920.

Biscotines Union

1910 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1400.–

Vermouth Martini, second authorized edition

1957 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1200.–

Biscuiterie Union dans toutes les bonnes épiceries - Produit de suralimentation

1906 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1480.–

Icons and logos

Many of his posters were so much appreciated by the public, and the process of identification between image and the brand was so strong that certain companies have kept his images as logos. These companies used Cappiello's creations for dozens of years, on multiple supports such as cards, blotters, metallic tin plaques and even on large posters in the Metro, creating the first brand universes.

These logos have become Art Deco icons in French and Italian advertising. For example the spitting character in the Thermogene poster, The green devil of the Quina Maurin, the elephant who only smokes cigarettes rolled in Le Nil paper, the Campari jester or the bearded Russian for Relsky vodka.

Je ne fume que le Nil, papier à cigarettes

1912 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 3200.–

Je ne fume que le Nil

1920 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO (after)

CHF 100.–

Le fumeur avisé ne fume que le Nil

1915 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 90.–

Le Nil, Je ne fume que le Nil, papiers à cigarettes

1920 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 190.–

The Father of modern advertising

Cappiello produced nearly 550 advertising posters in his lifetime, for French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Swiss companies, producing many drawings, maquettes and characters.
He became the master of Art Deco and one of the world’s most important poster artists. He is now often called The Father of modern advertising.

Société française de munitions de chasse, de tir et de guerre

1912 circa – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1300.–

Frankreich

1937 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1200.–

France

1937 – Leonetto CAPPIELLO

CHF 1500.–


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