Masters of poster art on sale at Soler y Llach: Casas, Morell, Penagos and Capiello

Between 1880 and 1950, Poster Art achieved global recognition and creative splendor. This period is known as the Poster Craze, which started in France thanks to the invention of color lithography by Jules Cheret, and later spread to the rest of the world. Publicity and Poster

Art obviously went hand in hand. Therefore, this new technique was used to advertise drinks, brands, institutional information campaigns, sporting events and touristic destinations. Soler y Llach next auction (12th December in Barcelona) will offer various art pieces related to the Poster Craze and to Art Nouveau and Art Déco. Let’s highlight a few of these for you.


Within this category, the work “Anís del Mono” by Ramón Casas (see lot here) clearly stands out. This is not only due to the artists notoriety. We’ve highlighted it because of its impressive size (218 x 106 cm), its historical importance and, as we’ve mentioned in a previous article, an exact copy sold for 7.500€ at auction in February 2016. Now, let’s make a quick recap of this mythical green poster history. “In 1898, Vicente Bosch, owner of Anís del Mono, organized a publicity contest: 162 proposal were presented, three of them which were by Casas and he won the challenge with the poster representing a woman (a central element in his advertising illustrations) accompanied by a monkey which refers to the name of the liquor, in a style characterized by the simplicity and the precision of the drawing. Later on, Anís del Mono won two excellence prizes, one in 1900 in Paris and another in 1907 in Bordeaux. To celebrate this, they printed this poster with a green background and with similar characteristics to the original.” This artwork will go up for sale for 5.000€ it is in good condition and linen backed.

1899 ca. POSTER: (PUBLICITY). CASAS, R: ANIS DEL MONO (green). Lithography. Linen Backed.  218x106cm. (86 x 42 in). B+.

The second publicity poster that we want to focus on was made by the master Leonetto Cappiello. Italian born working in France, he won for himself the nickname of “Father of Modern Publicity”. This piece was made for the liquor brand Cinzano and presents all the distinctive features of Cappiello’s work: dark background, colourful central characters, elegant and straightforward topography with minimal writing. This exemplar has a perfect conservation state (A, linen backed) and is offered for 4.000€. (See lot)

POSTER: (PUBLICITY). CAPPIELLO LEONETTO: CINZANO. Valencia: Lit Ortega. Lithography. Linen Backed. 114 x 80 cm. (45 × 31in). A.

Let’s now jump in time to the early 1960’s where a bold and audacious new era of advertising appeared along with the development of offset printing. This is when Levis launched this iconic and polemic poster, which is offered for 300€. (See lot)

1960 ca. POSTER: (PUBLICITY). LEVI´S. Offset print. Linen Backed. 84x56cm. (33 x 22in). A.


Touristic posters have always enjoyed an immense popularity and have always been used to promote exotic destinations. Moreover, the worldwide distribution of these posters contributed to form an imagined representation of various cities in our shared collective memory.

Here, we highlight this poster made by Serny, Ricardo Summers Isern and commissioned by the Board of Spanish Tourism. It holds a good conservation state and is offered for only 400€. (See lot)

1942. POSTER: (TOURISM. SPAIN.). SANTANDER CIUDAD DE VERANO. Lithography. 100x62cm. (40x24in).

We also want to feature this other poster commissioned by the Board of Spanish Tourism. It was created by A. Vercher for the French market. “Visitez L’Espagne” holds an interesting slogan that can be translated as “Flowers and Fruits of the Mediterranean” and is priced at 500€. (See lot)

1930 ca. POSTER: A. VERCHER: VISITEZ L´ESPAGNE. FLEURS ET FRUITS DE LA MÉDITERRANÉE. Lithography. 100×62.5cm (40×24in). Madrid: Lit. voluntad. A.

If Ramón Casas pioneered Poster Art in Spain we can say that Josep Morell is one of the best poster artist we ever had in the country. This is what firmly believes Marc Martí; the expert on Morell’s work and author of the book “Morell cartells”. This is what he said: “If we understand a “Cartelista” as a creator that dedicates himself professionally to the graphic and advertising arts, in all the history of this art form in Catalunya, and by extension in Spain, it will be hard to find a creator more prolific, modern and recognized by his peers as was Morell, despite his premature death.”. In this auction you will find a selection of his work, for example this touristic poster Espagne which is offered at a very attractive price. (see lot)

1940 ca. POSTER: (TOURISM. SPAIN). MORELL: ESPAGNE. Lithography. Linen Backed. 100x70cm. (40x27in). A-.

Sporting Events:

Carrying with Morell, we now focus on a poster with a new thematic: skiing. In Europe, skiing destinations such as the Alps received the help of grand masters of Poster Art to create iconic images. In Spain, we had Morell and by emphasizing this poster we want to vindicate his value as a true artist. This work was commissioned by the Spanish State Tourist Department and is offered for an interesting 700€. (See lot)

1930 ca. POSTER: (TURISMO-DEPORTE-ESQUI). MORELL: SPAIN. Madrid: Spanish State Tourist Departement. Lithography. Linen Backed. 100×63 cm (39×25 in). A –.

What can we say about this poster “Rally Internacional Exposición de Barcelona”! The Art Déco aesthetic transmits velocity, style and the glamour of the Roaring Twenties. Well, let’s say a very Spanish kind of glamour.


On the same topic, this gorgeous poster “Prueba de Hidroaviones  Barcelona-Mallorca” transmits the spirit of adventure, challenge and speed. The artist seems to have been influenced by Futurism, Art Déco and Japanese art aesthetic.  


Institutional campaigns:

Art Nouveau is definitely the earliest and utmost important style used in Poster Art. The maestro Alphonse Mucha brought it up to its fullest expression as Casas did here in Spain. Countless numbers of artists have used this style both in publicity and institutional campaigns. Let’s have a look:

1930 ca. POSTER: (PUBLICITY). CASAS, RAMÓN: LA TUBERCULOSIS AMENAÇA LA VIDA I LA RIQUESA DE CATALUNYA. Barcelona: Fototipia Thomas. Lithography. 106x55cm. (41 ×21 in). A-.


At last we wanted to talk about Rafael de Penagos, the third pillar of Spanish Poster Art along with Casas and Morell. His aesthetic is dominated by the representation of powerful women, clearly ahead of their time. The poster below brought the expression “Penagos Women” to the Spanish language. This artwork, which was commissioned by Madrid’s Círculo de Bellas Artes, is estimated at 2.000€. (See lot)

1930 ca. CARTEL: PENAGOS: CÍRCULO DE BELLAS ARTES (Madrid). 70x100cm. (27x39in.) A.

See the complete catalogue


Manager, The Art Market Agency

Juan A. Rodríguez Gamero- Founder The Art Market-Agency

Expert in online marketing with over ten years of experience helping companies grow in the online environment. Knowing the main marketing platforms of the art sector and how to get the best out of them to make them profitable. Twitter:@juanrgamero  LinkedIN  

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