Although born in Livorno, Italy, Cappiello spent most of his adult life in Paris where he became one of the most successful and prolific posterists of all time (he created more than 1000). His style is intimately bound up with the rise of modern advertising. Always bold, he focused on one irresistible image that could be absorbed in a second and remembered for a lifetime. He wrote: “Surprise is the foundation of advertising; it is its necessary condition.”
“I only smoke with Le Nil rolling papers” is one of the classics of poster art. The idea of juxtaposing an elephant with a rolling paper seems incongruous at first, but ultimately becomes an indelible association.