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Biography of Jules-Alexandre Grun (1868-1934)

Born in Paris on May 25, 1868, Grun first studied decorative art in Lavastre's atelier at the Opera. He later studied landscape painting under the tutelage of Guillemet, an academic linked to the Impressionist School. At the age of 25, his first three posters were produced. Over the course of the next 38 years he developed a unique style of poster art that reflected his own quick wit and good-natured banter. Using his trademark color scheme of red and black, buxom ladies with generous behinds, his posters became the voice of Montmartre nightlife.

His images are simple yet powerful, almost caricatural, showing neither the influence of the Japanese woodblock nor that of Cheret. Through his posters, Grun developed his own language, a language that embraces brevity of color, a simpleness of line and always a saucy charm.