Chinese New Year posters appeared as early as in the year of 1896 during the rein of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty. When they appeared for the first time, the posters contained calendars in twelve months together with a list of climate and other natural phenomena of four seasons. The pictures were mostly images of beauties. Rapid development of the Chinese economy during the early decades of the 20th century made this period the golden age of Chinese poster art. The beautiful ladies depicted in rich and vibrant imaging, corresponded to the nascent middle class aspirations of an increasingly Westernized China’s urban citizens.
With commodities or business establishments painted on them, new year posters, in the traditional form liked by the Chinese people, were presented to clients together with commodities by the end of a year. Vast numbers of people hung new year posters on the wall of their homes. Adding beauty to households, they were objects for admiration. Their emergence enjoyed warm welcome by the board masses of the people. Business establishments used the opportunity to promote sales of their commodities. This was the earliest commodity playbill appeared in China.
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