"Yvette Guilbert was one of the most famous of all the artistes of the Paris
cafe-concerts in the late 1890's. She was renowned for her act in which she recited,
rather than sang, songs with most scurrilous of words, clad in elegant but revealing
dresses and wearing long black gloves. She would accompany songs with expressive
gestures from her arms emphasized by these elbow-length gloves" (Weston
No.4 1998, 43)
"In 1898 when he (Leonetto Cappiello) decided to pay
a visit to his older brother who happened to be working for the Paris Stock exchange.
Leonetto found Paris exciting, and wanted to stay longer, which meant he had to
find a way to support himself. He approached two famous compatriots who happened
to be in town, actor Novelli and composer Puccini, asked them to let him sketch
their caricatures. They obliged, and Cappiello submitted the drawings to the humour
magazine "Le Rire" they were promptly accepted, and were so well received
by the public that he became, virtually overnight, the favoured artist of the
Paris Theatre" (Rennert PAI-IX)
of the magazines asked him to prepare his first poster (Le Frou Frou) for which
he used the style of his "Le Rire" work, simple drawing and flat colour.
From that point on he was inundated with commissions for posters. These early
works he did for "Le Rire" were instrumental in the start of his career,
and thus their importance to the serious collector cannot be overestimated.