Poster art over the years has been used to communicate through advertisements and to illustrate important events The poster been used to make fine art reproductions available to more people at lower prices. During the nineteen century some important turning points occurred in the creation of the era of the modern poster.

The first was the industrial revolution which led to the need for large scale advertising. The second was the development of a printing method known as lithography.

Color lithography was developed in France by Jules Cheret in 1860. Color lithography would lead to the creation of the poster industry and to the golden age of vintage poster art by the 1890’s. The lithographic process made it possible to create beautifully colored prints quickly and for a lower price. Until this time the Color lithography was developed in France by Jules Cheret in 1860 and would lead to the creation of the poster industry and to the golden age of vintage poster art by the 1890’s.

The lithographic process made it possible to create beautifully colored prints quickly and for a lower price. Until this time the posters that existed lacked artistic value. Cheret had developed a theatrical style that represented the Rococo Revival. Looking at vintage poster art over the years illustrates the changes and improvements made to the poster. The poster industry was helped along by the introduction of a law in 1881 requiring offical posting places. People wanting to put up posters had to pay a tax based on the square footage of the posters. Since posters were seen as an effective method of advertising the advertisers of the day worked with artists and printers to create and post posters on the streets of Paris. So much of vintage poster art provides examples of this type of advertising.

The 1890’s have been considered to be the golden age of vintage poster art. All the great artists of Paris helped to create a poster art craze during this time. One of the earliest examples of posters as fine art is Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge (1891) which was at least partially inspired by Japanese woodblock printing.