Bieres de la Meuse

Alphonse Mucha Bieres de la Meuse (from Maitres de l'Affiche series), 1899 This is one of the plates from the Masters of the Poster series, which consists of 256 small format lithographic plates of the best posters of the Belle Epoque. These collectible miniatures were painstakingly produced four per month from 1895 to 1900 by no less than the father of the poster, Jules Cheret, in conjunction with his printer Chaix. The Maitres series was the outgrowth of the international poster craze of the 1890s, when the new advertising medium transformed the boulevards of Paris and other major cities into the "art gallery of the street." Posters by Cheret, Livemont, Lautrec, Mucha and others became widely collected, and Cheret realized that many collectors would enjoy a portfolio of the best posters from around the world that could be admired in a smaller, more practical format. The series was an enormous success, and continues to be highly popular today. Ninety-seven artists' work is represented in the series; maitres by the best artists are often as rare as the original large format images.