Cappiello designed four posters for the Neapolitan department store Mele, and he clearly pulled out all the stops to create the most elegant and fashionable images for them. Mele was the largest account for Ricordi, the pioneering Milan lithographic printer. Since 1896 Ricordi put its very best artists to work for the retailing powerhouse. Using large format images, Mele brought the elegance and excitement of pre-war High Society to an eager and growing Italian bourgeois class. The posters were regularly reviewed in the press and were even sold in fine art galleries.
Although born in Livorno, Italy, Cappiello spent most of his adult life in Paris where he became one of the most prolific posterists of all time (he created more than 1000). His style is intimately bound up with the rise of modern advertising. Always bold, his style 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."
Cappiello did several posters for Italian clients, but relatively few were printed in Italy. The four he created for Mele at Ricordi are extremely rare and among the most beautiful images in his oeuvre. The "Novita per Signora" ("new fashions for women") is alive with excitement as a young lady admires herself in a mirror wearing the latest design by Mele. This was Cappiello's first poster for the pioneering retailer, and shows the influence of Cheret on the young poster maker. It is delightful poster making, and would have served Cappiello well in any rivalry he might have felt with the stable of Italian masters at Ricordi in Milan.
In very good condition with fresh color. Extremely rare.
Learn more about Cappiello's style