Images: French Circus Posters, Early 1900s

Here is a collection of images from French circus posters (and some of their programs) from the early 1900s.

Poster and program for the Cirque d’Hiver, which began as Napoleon’s circus on December 11, 1852, and in September 1870 was renamed the Cirque National. In 1873 it was christened Cirque d’Hiver, which remains its name to this day (in Paris, where it began and is still seen). This advertises the show on October 2, 1903.

Poster, Cirque d'Hiver, 1903

Program, Cirque d'Hiver, 1903












Poster from a 1904 program of the Cirque Rancy from Lyon. This advertises the last show that circus ever put on in that city because the mayor decided to start taxing horses. The circus’s director, Alphonse Rancy, didn’t like this idea, so he packed up his circus and left town to put on a traveling show.

Poster, Cirque Rancy, 1904












Poster and program from the Cirque Ville Rouen, a provincial circus that did not lack in quality and was not inferior to the circuses of Paris (according to the caption).

Poster, Cirque Ville de Rouen, 1906

Program, Cirque Ville de Rouen, 1906












Poster and program from the Cirque Metropole, 1907, of Paris. In this program, the highlight is the third act, which is a farce on the theme of marriage performed by the celebrity clown Geo Foottit and his sons Tommy and Georgy.

Poster-program, Cirque Metropole, 1907












Poster from the Cirque Medrano, featuring the clown Boum-Boum, from 1909.

Cirque Medrano, 1909












Finally, an assortment of two color posters advertising French circuses in the early 1900s.

French Circus Posters, Color, 1900s

More French Circus Posters, Color, 1900s