Ambassadeurs, Eugénie Buffet, 1893


This example of "Affiche Artistique" is titled "Ambassadeurs - Eugénie Buffet", by the artist Lucien Métivet, published in 1893.

Dimensions:  16" x 24"

Item# Title Choose: Shp Wt Price Click to buy
1W-ART-005-1 Ambassadeurs, Eugenie Buffet, 1893 Archival Paper 2 lbs. $29.95 Add to Basket
1W-ART-005-5 Ambassadeurs, Eugenie Buffet, 1893 Repositionable Peel & Stick Fabric* 2 lbs. $39.95 Add to Basket
*Peel & Stick: Repositionable self-adhesive fabric that resists water, wrinkles and tears. Can be repositioned with ease without damaging walls. No need for screws, tape or push-pins, simply peel and stick.  

Artists in the late 1800s found opportunities to present their work to the masses through advertising art that began to appear as billboards and posters, plastering the streets of Paris.  “Affiche Artistique” was the term that the French used to describe a poster that contained artistic expression.  The art was so impressive to the public, people began to collect the posters as soon as they went up, which is why they are so scarce today.  Artists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, Jules Chéret, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Pierre Bonnard and Eugène Grasset contributed to the creative body of work that became what some called  “a free museum for the masses”.  The craze for collecting these examples of modern art was even given the name, "affichomanie", meaning “artistic poster mania”.  Collectors today pay hundreds, if not thousands for original prints of these rare posters. 

We offer these exceptional vintage poster reproductions in the highest possible print quality.  Superior to most reproductions currently available on the market, our gallery quality prints are suitable for display in an art gallery or museum.  We begin with an ultra high resolution scan of the original artifact which we leave untouched, leaving intact the slightly distressed vintage character desirable in a collectible piece of this era.  Our state of the art, giclée reproduction process uses the latest technology: microscopic droplets of ink that render such a high resolution, that every minute detail of the original is intact.  Every pen line and brush stroke is visible.  Even very faint pencil lines are also visible due to the incredibly high quality of the reproduction process.  Our 8 color, archival quality inks and giclée printing process provide the most accurate color reproduction & are proven to last over a hundred years. Posters are available printed on museum quality archival paper or on repositionable media that allow you to plaster your walls with the “Affiche Artistique”, just as they were originally intended to be displayed. 

About the artist:

Lucien Métivet
French (1863 – 1932?) 

Born in Paris, Lucien Métivet became one of the most prominent illustrators of the 19th century.  Métivet studied classical art before turning his attention to popular art.  A talented cartoonist, he was said to be a master in caricature, humorous illustration and lithographic techniques.

While Métivet’s work appeared in many books and magazines, it was the poster he created in 1893, promoting the singer/actress Eugénie Buffet’s appearance at Charles Verneau’s nightclub Ambassadeurs that brought him recognition as a poster artist.  In 1896, Métivet competed with twenty-two other artists to design a poster depicting Napoleon.  Métivet won the competition, beating Toulouse-Lautrec among others. (Photo of Lucien Métivet and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, left).

Métivet was a contributor to the French humor magazine “Le Rire” and in 1907, its publisher launched a new magazine, “Fantasio”, to which Métivet also contributed.  Today original illustrations and posters by Lucien Métivet are highly sought after by collectors.


Singer - Actress
Eugénie Buffet
French Algerian, (1866 – 1934)

 Born in Tlemcen, Algeria, Marie Buffet knew hardship throughout her early life. The daughter of a seamstress and soldier, her father died while she was only six months old.  It is unclear when she adopted the name Eugénie, but she is known to have began acting at age 17, living in Marseilles and working in the cafés-concerts there.  She did not achieve much success in Marseilles, as it is said she was “booed and hissed off the stage”.

The world of Eugénie Buffet changed from rags to riches in 1886 when she became the mistress of wealthy French count, Guillaume d’Oilliamson.  The count brought Eugénie to Paris and presented her with a fashionable life.

Eugénie became interested in right-wing politics, and sang “La Marsellaise” for the nationalists at one of the founding rallies of the Ligue des Patriotes, winning over many fans among the anti-Dreyfusards.

Eugénie became inspired to portray women of ill-repute when she saw Aristide Bruant, a cabaret singer who often sang about such women appearing at Le Chat Noir in 1892.  Buffet had experienced some time in the Prison Saint-Lazare, a detention center for people who had become an embarrassment to their families.  She felt empathy for the women of the street and studied their habits closely in order to create an accurate portrayal of their characters.

Eugénie Buffet became a star after debuting her character la pierreuse (the streetwalker) in an 1892 performance at La Cigale in the Quartier Pigalle of Paris, wearing the signature red scarf and apron that was the mode of dress for prostitutes at the time.  Soon she was in demand and performing in such famous venues as Théâtre de la Gaîte-Montparnasse, the Théâtre de la Gaîte-Rochechouart and Les Ambassadeurs.  She was also known to entertain on the streets of poor neighborhoods and coal mines to help raise money for the homeless.

During World War I, Buffet performed for the soldiers, also appearing at the Royal Palace of Brussels.  In the 1920s she toured the United States, Morocco and the Antilles.  In 1927 she appeared as Napoleon’s mother in the silent film “Napoleon”, directed by Abel Gance.

Édith Piaf portrayed Eugénie Buffet in the 1954 French musical, French Cancan.