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Word Count: 486
Although lithography was invented in 1798 it was at first too slow and expensive forposter production Most posters were woodblocks or metal engravings with little color ordesign This all changed with Cherets three stone lithographic process a breakthroughwhich allowed artists to achieve every color in the spectrum with as little as three stones -red yellow and blue - printed in careful registration Although the process was difficult the result was a remarkable intensity of colorand texture with sublime transparencies and nuances impossible in other media even tothis day This ability to combine word and image in such an attractive and economicalformat finally made the lithographic poster a powerful innovation Starting in the 1870sin Paris it became the dominant means of mass communication in the rapidly growingIn France especially as the industrial age grew the average person had more timefor themselves They became better educated They were becoming readers theater goersmusic and art lovers It seems as though the French developed a keener sense of art andstyle ahead of everyone else Paris became the center for culture and artistic excellenceThese were changing times The middle class started to have access to consumergoods This new consumer-oriented economy created a need for a medium to reach themasses of people with product information The poster filled this need To reach thepeople they had to be loud colorful easy to read and easy to understand Moreimportantly they had to be inexpensive as they only lasted for such a short period of timeJules Cheret pioneered color lithography as an economical means of advertisingHis innovations with color and shading produced images that convey their message in amatter of seconds while still proving interesting more than one hundred years later withcomplex and subtle color harmonies More than any other artist Cheret gives us a visionof Paris in the 1890s an outdoor caf society leisurely strolling the boulevards on aSunday afternoon This represents an idealized fantasy devoid of poverty class struggleClassic posters are examples
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