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Champagne and the Vintage French Art Poster

Updated on September 14, 2014
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Champagne in Poster Art During La Belle Epoque Era

"La Belle Epoque", the "beautiful era", covers the period from the 1890's to the advent of the First World War in 1914, a time of peace and prosperity - a golden age for the Upper Classes. In Paris, La Belle Epoque is reflected in the advertising posters of the time, with products offering the consumer the hedonistic lifestyle - cigarettes, absinthe, theatre shows and champagne.

Champagne is known for its decadence, its romance, its elitism and its beauty. It is a topic that has created timeless art posters which are now enjoying a revival in popularity over 100 years later.

A Quick History of the Lithographic Poster

The poster that transformed advertising

In the 1870's an artist called Chéret in Paris discovered a way to print colour using a "three stone lithographic process", a process that allowed the artist to combine word and pictures, gave intense colour and was economical to produce too. The lithographic poster was used by Mucha, Chéret and Cappiello amongst many others. Paris became known as the "picture gallery of the street".

Poster art was loved by the people at the time; it was hugely popular as it brought art to the ordinary person on the street. Poster shows around Europe were organised to show off the artists work, the largest one being held in Reims (the home of Champagne) in 1896 where 1,690 posters were exhibited all arranged by Country.

The posters below are from this era of the Belle Epoque, I hope you enjoy them.

Art Nouveau and Champagne Vintage Posters

Alphonse Mucha: 1860 - 1939

Alphonse Mucha was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and print maker, famous for his delicate detailed illustrations.

Mucha designed posters for Champagne, but also non luxury items too such as soap, cigarettes, biscuits and other everyday household items.

In illustrating these adverts Mucha succeeded in bringing art to ordinary people, something he was passionate about.

Mucha was very much the "starving artist" when he first arrived in Paris, drawing illustrations for very little money, living on lentils and becoming very ill.


After 7 years of hard work in Paris, Mucha became an overnight success when received a 6 year contract to design the actress Sarah Bernhardt's theatre sets, costumes and posters. Unfortunately when Art Nouveau became unfashionable, so did Mucha, although his art was still popular it was no longer "new".

Mucha was arrested in when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, and died in prison in 1939.

Emile Berchmans: 1867 - 1947

Berchmans was an artist from Belgium, specialising in watercolours, pastels and lithographs. He illustrated a number of posters for magazines, which are very collectable today.

There is a soft dreamy quality to his work, and his style is very well suited to advertising posters in the Belle Epoque era. Berchmans liked to paint mythological figures - hence the fairy opening the champagne in this poster.

Dirty Old Men and the Champagne Vintage Poster!

The title “Messieurs!! Voulez Vous Conquérir les Coeurs!” translates to “Gentlemen! Would you win hearts!” This suggests that this very old man is able to attract young beautiful women if he buys them this champagne! If you look at her face though, she doesn’t look that impressed, perhaps she’s just putting up with his advances in order to have an expensive drink!

The caption at the bottom of the poster “Exiger la superbe paire de jarretières avec chaque bouteille” translates to “Requiring a great pair of garters with each bottle!”



Francisco Tamagno (1851 - 1923)

Tamago was born in Portugal and moved to Paris in the 1880s, where he became popular for illustrating adverts for cycling, skiing, rail travel and drinks. Although he is of the same era as the Art Nouveau graphic artists, Tamagno's style is more cartoon like and bold.

This illustration shows a drunken gentleman fetching another bottle of champagne, with two empty bottles on the table! Let's hope he hasn't drunk them all by himself!


Cork Popping Champagne Vintage Posters

Leonetto Capiello (1875 - 1942)

Born in Italy, Capiello moved to Paris in 1898 and work as a caricaturist before devoting his time to creating posters.

He is considered to be the godfather of the Art Deco movement and revolutionised advertising with his strong dynamic style, bold colours and lines.

Capiello turned poster advertising into a collectable art form, in 40 years he illustrated over 1000 works.

Grapeshot! By Lou Mayer

This poster was illustrated by Lou Mayer, I cannot find any information on the life of artist at present but will update here when I do! The illustration appeared in an English magazine in 1915.

Grapeshot is a type of ammunition used in cannons, they are a cluster of metal pellets - this illustration is comparing the popping of a cork to a hail of grapeshot from a cannon.

Vintage Posters in the Style of La Belle Epoque

Taittinger Champagne Vintage Poster

L'Instant Taittinger translates to "Taittinger in a Moment" and was created by Claude Taittinger for an advertising campaign in 1988. This image encapsulates the champagne brand so simply and effectively; elegance, sophistication, allure and beauty.

The image shows Grace Kelly, the beautiful American actress and Princess Consort of Monaco. I love the way her pose is echoed in the shape of the glass. After appearing on the front cover of Vogue, it was propelled from being an advert to an iconic art image.

Poto Leifi

This poster looks very vintage and could have been drawn in the 1930s, however the artist is alive and young too! Leifi was born in Southern California has been drawing since he was 4 years old. After graduating in 1987 Leifi began a successful career in design and enlisted into the army in 2006.

I don't think Golden Sable is a brand of Champagne, I have looked for it and I think this is fictional! It is a beautiful illustration; Poto Leifi has drawn others in similar styles which all have that vintage and retro feel to them.

Where to Buy Original Vintage Posters - make an investment, buy an original champagne vintage poster

All the poster images on this page are reproduction copies and available at Allposters.com and Art.com. If you want to buy the real thing, these websites below are what you want!

Do You Love Vintage Posters? More Importantly, Do You Love Champagne!?

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    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 5 years ago

      J'ai une affaire de temps l'amour avec du champagne ... J'adore le champagne et votre objectif!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      "La Belle Epoque" was indeed a beautiful period. Thank you for sharing such an evocative collection of reminiscences of the era.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      I love Champagne, and I enjoyed this lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 5 years ago

      I love Champagne and the best way to open a bottle is by using the Sabrage technique!

    • TheFrenchLife profile image

      TheFrenchLife 6 years ago

      Love the posters!

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 6 years ago

      I'll drink to that!

    • singlemaltdram profile image

      singlemaltdram 6 years ago

      really good lens. I'll show this to the wife.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 6 years ago

      Very cool and fun lens! I love vintage things and these are just too cool!

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 6 years ago

      Beautiful collection. I love vintage posters.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 6 years ago from Ireland

      Weren't those old posters so chic and classy? I love them, great lens!

    • Adinantiquejewe profile image

      Adinantiquejewe 6 years ago

      Those vintage posters are really neat.

      So much style and grace.

      Love your lens

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Great lens love it!

      Regards

      M.

    • Ceeshell profile image

      Ceeshell 7 years ago

      Really cute! I love that you gave the story behind the vintage posters and artists, and the history of poster art.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 7 years ago from New York

      I just love these vintage prints. Mucha is one of my favorite artist and I've been collecting his prints since the 60's when they had regained popularity. Very well done and another 5 stars to a very talented and creative lensmaster!

    • jmorgan17 lm profile image

      jmorgan17 lm 7 years ago

      Hi I absolutely Luv these fabulous vintage posters and Gaspar Camps is one I am unfamiliar with. I have been wondering how to tie in my extreme color including purple office with a very long antique frame I refuse to give up. What a super find. Thank you for this great lens!

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 7 years ago from Burbank, CA

      Great posters I think the first one is my favorite!!

    • MichelleLacroix profile image

      Michelle Lacroix Toro 7 years ago from United States

      I'm not much of a drinker, however, the "bubbly" is one of the few drinks I will taste. Very nice indeed, especially for a celebration. Great lens!

    • LadyFlashman profile image
      Author

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Rachel Field: Thank you so much!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Well written and beautiful presentation - great work! I don't like champagne but I do like these vintage champagne posters!