Cappiello’s Nitrolian Poster Among New Acquisitions at International Poster Gallery

  • Leonetto Cappiello, Nitrolian, 1929.

    Leonetto Cappiello, Nitrolian, 1929.

    Courtesy of International Poster Gallery

BOSTON, MA - International Poster Gallery (IPG) announces an array of acquisitions and new additions to their offerings of over 5,000 original vintage posters, prints, luggage labels and graphics.  Included in the lineup is a 1929 poster for Nitrolian paint by Leonetto Cappiello and a number of additional works by artists including Philippe Sommer, Elieen Mayo, Andy Warhol, John Scotford Jr. and more.  The gallery is located at 275 Newbury Street and is open daily from 10am – 6pm and Sunday from noon – 6pm.  For additional information, please visit or call 617-375-0076.

Leonetto Cappiello’s masterful poster for Nitrolian quick-drying paint, a collector favorite, is one of the most notable in this new collection.  Widely considered to be the one of the greatest poster artists of all time, Cappiello applies his singular talent for visual metaphor to this design.  The poster features a man hard at work painting a set of white stairs a bold shade of red.  A woman, shown from the waist down in pristine white, is descending the stairs behind him, nearly stepping on his brush as she moves.  Cappiello’s popular adage, “Surprise is the foundation of advertising,” is evident in his design, which suggests that this particular brand of paint dries so quickly it can be touched, or in this case walked upon, almost instantaneously.  As an added bonus, the entire design is mirrored and miniaturized on the worker’s paint can, a visual “Easter egg” hidden for more observant viewers.


Contemporary poster maker Philippe Sommer also follows Cappiello’s advice, presenting his own “surprise” in his 2000 poster for Champagne Liebart – Régnier.  His quirky, elegant and playful poster for the French champagne anthropomorphizes a familiar object – the cork and neck of a champagne bottle – with a beautiful and surreal female form.  The artist also introduces an element of fashion to the piece, repurposing the traditional metallic cork cover and wire as a stylish hat.  Though it was created in the 21st century, Sommer’s design aesthetic reflects an appreciation for the pioneers of the art form, and is a highly collectible contemporary piece.


In addition to original posters, a number of vintage luggage labels are also included in the gallery’s latest acquisitions.  Credited as the first form of viral marketing, these labels were intended for display on the luggage of hotel guests, many of them world travelers, who would then act as roving advertisements for the hotel.  Among these smaller graphics, a rare and exotic label for the Astor House Hotel in Shanghai is noted for its historical context and enigmatic design – a gloomy and enticing nighttime ocean scene in muted blues with stylized chartreuse typography.  Starting in the late 1850s, the hotel was a favorite destination for Westerners in China, noted for its flamboyant and anarchic atmosphere.  The Astor House Hotel has also played host to a bevy of notable guests over the years such as Herbert Hoover, Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw.  Luggage labels present a more affordable but no less diverse field of collecting, compared to full-sized vintage posters, and are prized historical relics in their own right. 


In addition to gallery shows and special exhibitions, IPG’s award-winning website, offers one of the largest, most comprehensive online collection of vintage advertising posters in the world.  Originally launched in 1998, the site contains nearly 5,000 images accessible through a powerful search engine.

Press Contact:
Joshua Payne
Fusco and Four
P: 617-363-0405

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