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Albert Guillaume
15 3/4'' x 11 3/8''

Original chromo-lithograph from Les Maîtres de l'Affiche, Plate 30.

While the upper-class woman of 1890s Paris inhabits a world of high-necked dresses and polite amusement, these performance advertisements paint quite a different picture of working-class women. Industrialization and urbanization created a fundamental shift in the way Americans and Europeans divided their time. As new forms of work emerged, in factories and away from one’s home, the concept of leisure was invented. New public spaces like cabarets and dance halls provided a place where the working-class and bohemians could mingle, drink and let loose after a long day. In contrast to the refined upper-class women displayed elsewhere in advertising, the working-class woman came to symbolize the free-wheeling sexuality and lasciviousness occurring on the gas lit streets of Paris. Albert Guillaume was known for his caricatures of French life and often contributed illustrations to satirical magazines like Le Rire. His poster for the Theatre de L’Ambigu’s production of “Gigolette” captures the wild spirit of this new identity in Parisian life.



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