1859 to 1866, he was trained in lithography in London, England, where he was strongly influenced by the British approach to poster design and printing. On returning to France, Chéret created vivid poster ads for the cabarets, music halls, and theaters such as the Eldorado, the Olympia, the Folies Bergères, Theatre de l’Opera, the Alcazar d’Été and the Moulin Rouge. His works were influenced by the scenes of frivolity depicted in the works of Rococo artists such as Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Antoine Watteau. So much in demand was he, that he expanded his business to providing advertisements for the plays of touring troupes, municipal festivals, and then for beverages and liquors, perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Eventually he became a major advertising force, adding the railroad companies and a number of manufacturing businesses to his client list.
Posters as an art form were invented by Jules Chéret in Paris in the 1860’s. Their proliferation and refinement were the result of advances in printing technology, a relaxation of laws regulating the press, and a booming demand for the advertisement of ‘modern’ products and of the Parisian lifestyle in the Belle Epoque (1871 – 1914). In journals, books, theater programs, and posters, the graphic arts soon transcended their commercial function and became art objects sought out by art collectors worldwide.