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A fire-eater kindling fire in his lungs with the remedy Thermogène. Colour lithograph by Leonetto Cappiello, 1909.

Cappiello, Leonetto, 1875-1942.
Date
1909
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view A fire-eater kindling fire in his lungs with the remedy Thermogène. Colour lithograph by Leonetto Cappiello, 1909.

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Credit: A fire-eater kindling fire in his lungs with the remedy Thermogène. Colour lithograph by Leonetto Cappiello, 1909. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work

Description

On Thermogène, Helfand, loc. cit., writes as follows: "Thermogene has been on the European market since about the turn of the century. Composed of soft cotton wadding, it is meant to be applied as a plaster to any part of the body where heat would be beneficial. Capsicum, which makes up 40% of the product by weight, is the active ingredient. While Thermogene has been actively promoted since early in the century, no advertisement in its history has had greater impact than a poster by Lionetto Cappiello first published in 1907: it showed a fire-eating circus performer, his arms holding the product close to his chest, along with claims for cough and rheumatism. Cappiello's poster became one of the best known of all commercial posters published in the twentieth century, and brought Thermogene to a world-wide audience."

Rennert, loc. cit.: "In 1896 a pharmacist named Van de Broek created a product made from cotton or wadding impregnated with a cayenne pepper-based substance--hence the orange colour. ... The company [which makes Thermogène] is now owned by the Thuasne group"

Publication/Creation

Valenciennes ; Paris : Dehon & Cie., 1909.

Physical description

1 print : lithograph, printed in colours ; sheet 117 x 78.5 cm

Lettering

Le Thermogène engendre la chaleur et combat: toux, rhumatismes, points de côté. L Cappiello

Publications note

William H. Helfand, "Historical images of the drug market: XXVIII", Pharmacy in history, 1990, vol. 32, pp. 176-177
M. Robert-Sterkendries, La santé s'affiche, Bruxelles: Therabel, 2003, no. 1024, p. 74
Jack Rennert, Cappiello: the posters of Leonetto Cappiello, New York 2004, no. 218

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 41333i

Lettering note

Bears number: V.175-P-20.490

Type/Technique

Languages

  • English



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