Joris-Karl Huysmans, A Dénicheur of Jules Chéret's Posters

This article analyzes Joris-Karl Huysmans's essay on French poster designer Jules Chéret (1836-1932) as an early example of art criticism devoted to mass-produced advertising posters. Huysmans's "Chéret" essay, published in the collection of art criticism, Certains (1889), interpreted late nineteenth-century poster imagery as capturing the sexual allure of the female figures represented. In doing so, Huysmans, a dénicheur—or cultivator of unconventional interpretations of popular culture—wedded decadent themes of the comic and sexuality in order to challenge bourgeois morality and capitalist forms of culture.

Karen L. Carter
Volume 2012 (41.1-2)