One of the most famous printmakers of the late nineteenth century, Chéret is often regarded as the originator of the artistic lithographic poster. His innovative crachis technique—spattering rather than painting a wax resist onto the lithographic stone—allowed him to create a shimmering effect with relatively few impressions. The new advertising and poster art of the 1890s often deployed women as enticing or allegorical figures. This exuberant image of the American dancer Loie Fuller captures the spirit of sensuality and excitement in the cabaret culture of fin-de-siècle Paris. Fuller was an important attraction at the 1900 Paris world’s fair, embodying Art Nouveau with her innovative choreography and diaphanous silk costumes illuminated by multicolored electric lights.
Gallery label from Shaping Modernity: Design 1880-1980, December 23, 2009–July 25, 2010 .