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Cheret's Early Career in Lithography


Cheret was born in Paris, in 1836. He was born into a large family of a craftsmen and typographers. In 1849, at the age of only 13, he began drawing lettering for a lithographer. As he matured, he took a job in an engraver's shop, taking drawing courses in the evening to further hone his skills. After a visit to the Louvre, he discovers Rubens and Watteau (which has a visible effect on his works). His studied lead him study drawing at the National School (School of Decorative Arts) of Lecoq de Boisbaudran.

In 1854, Cheret had his first stay in London where he discovered the brilliant paintings of Turner in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The young Cheret studies in England for six years, drawing posters for local circuses. He also illustrated a furniture catalogue for Maple's, an English furniture manufacturer.

In 1958, he tasted his first degree of success with a poster called Orphée aux Enfants d'Offenbach. From 1859 to 1866, Cheret again stayed in London, where he meets a family of clowns playing jokes inspired from the Italian comedy. There, Cheret met up with the perfumer Eugene Rimmel, and produces product labels for his company. With Rimmel, he visited Italy and discovered Tiepolo.

At some point toward the end of his travels, he conceived a method of using the lithographic process to produce large posters, at an affordable cost.



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