24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Once upon a time, advertising was art. There was a period when creating amazing advertisements for products–such as cigarettes, soap, food, bicycles, and even cultural events—was a fulfilling form of self-expression for artists. The true golden era (one can call it La Belle Époque) shined from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of World War I.

I adore the work that came out of the advertising industry in the 20th century: The atomic fifties, the smooth sixties, the hippie seventies, the weird eighties. But, somehow, the end of the 19th century and its transition into the 20th was radically different. Art Nouveau and the Secessionists, the optimistic and peaceful progression of science—this age, and its ephemeral forms, was very special.

Check out the following examples, and you'll see where I'm coming from.


Andalusia at the time of the Moors exposition, Paris, 1900. Artist: Eugène Samuel Grasset.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Mosaics by Escofet-Tejera and Co., Spain, 1900. Artist: Alexandre de Riquer.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya


Absinthe Robette, Bruxelles, 1896. Artist: Privat Livemont.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Library Of Congress


Rajah Tea, Bruxelles, Bruxelles, 1896. Artist: Privat Livemont.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya


Chocolat Mexicain Masson, Paris, 1892. Artist: Eugène Samuel Grasset.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


A la Place Clichy, France, 1891. Artist: Eugène Samuel Grasset.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art


L. Marquet ink, France, 1892. Artist: Eugène Samuel Grasset.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Jeanne d'Arc–Sarah Bernhardt (actress), France, 1889-1894. Artist: Eugène Samuel Grasset.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Salon of the One Hundred, 17th Exhibition, Paris, 1895. Artist: Paul Berthon.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Dayton bicycles, France, c1898. Artist: Henry Thiriet.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Cosmydor Savon soap, France, 1891. Artist: Jules Chéret (France, Paris, 1836-1932)

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


The Loïe Fuller show, Paris, 1894. Artist: Pal (Jean de Paleologu).

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Médiathèque Les Silos


Madrid Expo, 1893. Artist: Eugène Samuel Grasset.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya


Albert Morris Bagby's new novel: Miss Träumerei, Boston, 1895. Artist: Ethel Reed.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya


III. Manes Exhibition Association, 1900. Artist unknown.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: eSbírky


Petrol Stella, Paris, 1897. Artist: Henri Gray (Henri Boulanger).

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Library Of Congress


Waverley cycles, Paris, 1898. Artist: Alphonse Mucha.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Modern House, Paris, 1901. Artist: Manuel Orazi.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Exposition hygiene. Milano, 1900. Artist: Adolfo Hohenstein.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Déesse bicycle, Paris, c1890. Artist: Jean de Paleologue.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Library Of Congress


Nestlé's food for infants, Paris, 1897. Artist: Alphonse Mucha.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Rayon d'Or light fixture, Paris, 1895. Artist: Jean de Paleologue.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Library Of Congress


The Geisha from Daly's Theatre London, Belfast, 1895. Artist unknown.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Cigarrillos Paris, 1901. Artist: Aleardo Villa.

24 of the Most Beautiful Ads Ever MadeS

Source: Wikimedia Commons