LEONETTO CAPPIELLO’S FAMOUS GREEN DEVIL
“Maurin Quina, Le Puy France” lithograph designed by Leonetto Cappiello in 1906, printed in colours by Vercasson & Cie in Paris. Size 158 x 117 cm.
Affectionately known as “The Green Devil”, Cappiello struck a chord with this poster. This green figure, highlighted in purple, popping a cork from a red bottle, makes for an image that flirts with something sinister in a way that manages to be charming and compelling. No wonder this poster is one of the most memorable icons in Cappiello’s visual legacy.
Maurin Quina is an apéritif, a white wine that has been fortified with wild cherries, quinine, bitter almonds, and cherry brandy. The green devil in particular evokes la fée verte (the green fairy), the nickname for absinthe, a drink popular during the Belle Époque.
Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942) is seen as the father of the modern poster. He broke with the elegant style of art nouveau artists such as Alphonse Mucha and dominated Parisian poster art for 20 years. Cappiello was influenced by other poster designers such as Jules Chéret and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Characteristic for Cappiello is his attention to one catchy subject, usually humorous, with exuberant colours, an image that you understand immediately and that you will never forget.
Cappiello made advertisements for a variety of industries: beverages, travel, sports, cigarettes, cigars, and theaters in both France and Italy. Many of his images not only influenced subsequent generations of artists, but have become sought-after icons today.