Leonetto Cappiello, France, ca. 1937

Leonetto Cappiello is considered by many to be “the father of modern advertising.” In his signature style, consisting of a simple image on a dark background, he depicts a female figure hovering above France. The woman’s outstretched arms reach towards the West, welcoming westerners as they visit for the 1937 Exposition Internationale (World’s Fair). By 1931 France had largely recovered from the effects of World War I but was thrust into a new crisis – the Great Depression. It took almost a decade for the country to recover. However, the several decades long revival was disrupted in September 1939 when France entered World War II to support Poland following German invasion.

Leonetto Cappiello (French, b. Italy, 1875-1942) France, ca. 1937 Lithograph on paper Gift of Elma Pratt