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ARTISTS / Cappiello, Leonetto

Italian/French 1875-1942
Cappiello was a poster designer, painter, draughtsman and caricaturist born in Italy. He had his first exhibition at the age of 17 in Florence and in 1896 published his first album of caricatures. He moved to Paris in 1898, later becoming a French citizen, and began work for the periodical Le Rire. Until 1904 he mainly worked as a caricaturist, and publised in the the journals: La Revue Blanche and Assiette au Beurre, among others. In 1899 La Revue Blanche published an album of 18 of his caricatures, entitled Nos Actrices. Cappiello also created his first advertising poster for the comic journal Frou-Frou. He was a great innovator, producing dynamic works in strong color. He then abandoned creating caricatures to devote himself to posters.

Cappiello also painted many portraits and decorative panels. In 1912 he was commissioned by the famous French department store, Galeries LaFayette, to decorate their tea-rooms. An example of another large commercial commision came in 1935, when he painted the immense fresco Festival in Paris for the Dupont restaurant on Boulevard Barbes. He also illustrated a number of books, such as Voltaire’s La Princesse du Babylon. For further information on the works of Cappiello, we highly recommend the excellent book written by Mr. Jack Rennert.

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