Cheret's Vin Mariani is alive with the gaiety of the Belle Epoque, when the poster converted the boulevards of Paris to the "art gallery of the street." Such irrepressible spirit fit the product perfectly, which was originally spiked with cocaine for an added "kick". The tonic is still popular today, though its recipe was changed in 1910 to omit the illicit substance.
This extremely fine impression was printed for a collector's edition. Advertisers insisted upon special runs to be sold by poster dealers, so that eager collectors would not rip them down off the hoardings. This poster bears the stamp of Edmund Sagot, the very first poster dealer. Surely it was one of the most sought after images in his gallery.
Cheret was the father of the lithographic poster, creating around 1000 posters before 1900. This is surely one of his most inspired.