"Cappiello attempted to capture the effervescent quality of Mme.
Rejane, one of the top draws of her day. A contemporary and rival
of Sarah Bernhardt, Rejane actually Gabrielle Reju (1857-1920), studied
acting at the Conservatory, and made her debut at the Theâtre
de Vaudeville in 1892, she married its director, Mr. Porel. She tackled
any kind of role, from light comedies to classic drama, but proved
to be at her best in playing women of passion" (Wine
"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
One 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.