Jules-Alexandre Grun was a French painter. Along with Jules Cheret, he was one of the leading poster art illustrators from the turn of the 19th century. He significantly contributed to arise the lithography as a viable and fashionable art form.
Jules-Alexandre Grun was born in Paris, on May 25, 1868. Other than that, there`s little to no information about his early life.
At some point, he was apprenticed by the renowned theatrical decoration of the grand Paris Opera, Jean-Baptiste Lavastre, as well as by Antoine Guillemet, a very distinguished landscape painter. The tutoring by different styles had a positive turnout in Grun`s artistic career. For a while, the first teacher was well versed in poster illustration, etching, and lithographs, the latter was an exquisite painter in the traditional sense, who was also a crucial figure to the rise of Impressionism.
Two good artworks to exemplify this point is Poster advertising train services from Paris to London, a commission made by the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de lOuest, a poster made by lithography. As well as and The End of Dinner, a stunning oil painting with smooth brushstrokes and careful attention to light and shadow, it became one of his best-known artworks.
However, it was in the fields of illustration and poster art that Grun became especially known for. He would be employed by one of the largest and most famous printing company in Paris, which was directed by Jules Cheret, another very celebrated poster art artist. Cheret was also Grun`s main competitor in this area.
Besides feeling the need to express himself through art, Grun was also attracted by the bohemian lifestyle many artists lived, which he was eager to reproduce in his artwork as well. He was especially drawn to the effervescent nightlife at the Parisian region of Montmartre, famous by its theatres and cabarets, such as the Moulin Rouge.
In his late life, during the 1930s, Grun developed Parkinson`s disease, which took its toll at his social life and especially his motor skills, virtually ceasing his production.
Jules-Alexandre Grun died in 1938. However, there`s still a debate on his date of passing. He was one of the last great painters of the Belle Epoch. Along with Cheret, Grun largely contributed to the rebirth of the lithography. His posters and paintings were full of life, populated by vibrant, almost caricatural figures.