Mele: Novita Per Signora (Green), 1903
Cappiello designed four posters for Mele, the Neapolitan department store, and he clearly pulled out all the stops to create the most elegant and fashionable images of the era. Mele was the largest account for Ricordi, the pioneering Milanese 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.
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 500). His designs for Mele are extremely rare and among the most beautiful images in his body of work. The Novita Per Signora ("new fashions for women") is alive with excitement as the formally clad couple head out for a night on the town. Cappiello heightens the sense of animation by accentuating the diagonals, even sloping the lettering off to the right. The figures stand out from an incredibly rich dark green background, which helps to give the poster an unsurpassed elegance.
57.2 x 80 inches (145 x 203 cm)
| Backed on linen