Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe, and by the early 21st century, more than 1 billion were in existence at a given time. These numbers far exceed the number of cars, both in total and ranked by the number of individual models produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions.
The safety bicycle was developed in 1894, and this allowed women the momentous occasion to finally cycle on their own. Advertisers were quick to realise that if women began riding bicycles, then their marketing tactics would have to adapt to increase sales. This proved to be a key moment of transformation: female consumers needed to see themselves in advertising, and the poster art obliged them. For the first time ever, women were given a key element to attaining independence—the bicycle, and all the roving possibilities that entailed—and posters emboldened this new assertion of power. Female cyclists were depicted as goddesses, warriors, angels, enchantresses, and arbiters of their own desires. In posters, the women were in charge.
Posters continued their work of appealing to both female and male consumers. Their depictions of powerful goddesses could inspire female audiences, but they could also be made attractive to men. In this way, advertisers could sell the idea of machines to women and also sell the idea of women using machines to male audiences—a double marketing whammy.
For more information on bicycle posters see part 1, and for earlier examples see parts 1 - 3 also.
This is part 4 of an 11-part series on bicycle posters:
c1895 - 1920 Posters by Philippe Chapellier:
|c1895 Régina by Philipe Chapellier (France)|
|c1900 Petit Cycles & Automobiles by Philippe Chapellier (France)|
130.2 x 94.8 cm
|c1905 Cycles Saving by Philippe Chapellier (France)|
160 x 120 cm
|c1920 Cycles Rochet by Philippe Chapellier (France)|
|Cycles Progrès by Philippe Chapellier (France)|
79 x 59 cm
|1896 Acatène Métropole, Paris|
|1896 The Donaldson Bicycles Lithos (USA)|
|1896 Waverley Cycles America's Favorite by A.R. Beck (USA)|
|1896-97 Les Cycles Cottereau by René Préjélan (France)|
141 x 99 cm
|c1896-98 Hinde-Ryweilen Fabriek Amsterdam |
by Johann Georg van Caspel (Netherlands)
Johann Georg van Caspel (1870 - 1928) was a Dutch painter of portraits and murals. He studied at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (State Academy of Fine Arts) in Amsterdam before going on to work at the studio of Maurits van der Valk, and the Amand Printing Comapany, and eventually working in architecture and designing mansions in the area of Gooi.
|c1896 Cycles Omnium by F. Capelli (France)|
101.5 x 69 cm
|1897 Cycles Médinger by Georges Alfred Bottini (France)|
131 x 93.2 cm
Georges Alfred Bottini was born in Paris in 1874 and died in Villejuifon in 1907. He was painter, watercolourist, designer and engraver. He often painted similar subjects of fashionable women as in the above example.
|1897 Erste Höhenluft Radfahr-bahn by Johann Vincenz Cissarz (Germany)|
Johann Vincenz Cissarz (1873 Danzig (now Gdańsk) - 1942 Frankfurt) studied at the academy of arts in Dresden, where he also worked as a graphic artist and designer. In 1916 he settled in Frankfurt, teaching painting at the Städel Art Institute until 1939. He is known for his paintings, illustrations, posters and typography.
|1897 Peugeot cycles by E. Charles Lucas (France)|
136.2 x 105.7
E. Charles Lucas (1871-1930) was a French illustrator who illustrated posters for the Folies Bergére among many others.
|1897 Plasson Cycles by Manuel Robbe (France)|
|1897 Plasson Cycles by Manuel Robbe (France)|
Manuel Robbe was a printmaker who mastered the aquatint technique. He was born in Paris, shortly after the Franco-Prussian War. He studied at the Lycees Condorcet with Louis Legrand. In the early 1890’s Robbe enrolled at the Academie Julian and later, at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux- Arts. Here, he learned the intricacies of etching and aquatint from master etcher Eugene Delatre. He exhibited regularly at the Salons of Societe des Artistes Francais and in 1900, he received a bronze medal at the World’s Fair for his contribution to printmaking.
Robbe’s innovative techniques, along with his sense of colour harmony and his choice of subjects: stylish women, children in parks and promenades in the streets, helped lift the artistic level of colour printmaking to unprecedented heights.
|c1897 Cycles Peerless, Paris (France)|
54.5 x 38.5 cm
|c1897 Pneu Michelin (France)|
|c1897 Fabrique Nationale Cycles avec & Sans Chaine |
(Belgium - French Dealer)
1898 - c1902 Posters by Alphonse Mucha
Alphonse (Alfons) Mucha (1860 – 1939) was a Czech painter and decorative artist born in 1860 born in the town of Ivančice, Moravia. He is best known for his luxurious poster and product designs, which encapsulate the Art Nouveau style. Contemporary interest in his work was revived in 1980 after an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.
Note: A series on the works of Alphonse Mucha can be found in this blog index
|1898 Waverley Cycles by Alphonse Mucha (France)|
88.5 x 114 cm
|1902 Cycles Perfecta by Alphonse Mucha |
105 x 50 cm
1898 - c1900 Posters by Georges Gaudy:
Georges Gaudy (1872–1940) was a Belgian poster artist, painter and champion cyclist. Gaudy's first poster was commissioned for the Brussels Velodrome, and many of his works featured bicycle and car manufacturers.
|1898 Cycles et Automobiles Legia by Georges Gaudy (Belgium)|
95.2 x 64.2 cm
|1898 Usines Delin by Georges Gaudy (Belgium)|
113 x 85.5 cm
|c1900 BSA by Georges Gaudy (Belgium)|
|c1900 Cycles Wagner by Georges Gaudy (Belgium)|
83.8 x 57.7 cm
|Vélos Bury, Les Plus Rapides by Georges Gaudy (Belgium)|
|1898 Monarch (Germany)|
|1898 Radior by Eugene Vavasseur (France)|
|1898 Ride Swift Cycles by Tom Browne (UK)|
151.4 x 98 cm
Tom Browne (1870-1910) was an extremely popular English strip cartoonist, painter and illustrator of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. He was apprenticed to a lithographic printer and eked out a living with freelance cartoons for London comic papers. Browne's comic strips soon became so popular that he moved to London where he turned out six full-page comic strips a week, but also produced illustrations for several British magazines. The logo of Johnnie Walker whiskey, the strutting, monocled character, was created by Browne in 1908.
|1898 Salles du National Salon du Cycle by Georges Koister (France)|
98.4 x 67.7 cm
|1898 Velodromo de Barcelona by Adrià Gual (Spain)|
129 x 89 cm
Adrià Gual (1872-1943) was a Catalan playwright and theatre businessman. He founded El Teatre Íntim (The Intimate Theatre). He was Director of the Catalan School of Drama and artistic director of the film production Barcinógrafo (1913). He was one of the leading graphic artists of Modernism, emphasising their posters.
|1898 Victor Cycles|
72 x 49 cm
|c1898 Fabrique Nationale by Emile Berchmans (France)|
39.4 x 67.5 cm
Emile Berchmans ( 1867 -1947) was a Belgian artist from artistic family. He was the son of Belgian artist Émile-Édouard Berchmans, and the brother of sculptor Oscar Bechmans. He was trained at his father's studio and at the Liège Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied with Adrien de Witte. Émile Berchmans spent most of his career in Liège. With Armand Rassenfosse and Auguste Donnay, he was one of the main poster designers of Auguste Bénard's printing press in Liège: The collaboration between the three Liège artists and the French printer became the basis of a graphic production at the forefront of the poster art in Europe at that time.
|1899 Châlet du Cycle by René Péan (France)|
123.7 x 87 cm
René Péan was born in Paris in 1875 and died in Ermont (Val-d'Oise) in 1955, was a French painter, poster artist and illustrator. A student of Jules Chéret, he was active between 1895 and 1905 in the workshop Chaix, creating many posters.
1899 -1923 Posters by Francisco Tamagno:
|1899 Marque Georges Richard Cycles & Automobiles by Eugène Grasset (France)|
149.5 x 118.4 cm
Eugène Grasset (1845 Lausanne, Switzerland - 1917 Sceaux, France) known as a painter, illustrator and master draftsman. Between 1869 and 1870, Grasset worked as a painter and sculptor in Lausanne. He moved to Paris in 1871 where he designed furniture, wallpapers, fabrics, and tapestries as well as ceramics and jewellery. With the growing popularity of French posters in the United States, Grasset was soon contacted by several American companies. In the 1880s, he did his first American commission and more success led to his cover design for the 1892 Christmas issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.