By the mid-19th century lithography was used primarily for commercial purposes, but was revived as a creative artistic medium by the success of color printing. The growing popularity of posters by artists such as Jules Cheret (1836-1932) and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec contributed to a renewed interest in color lithography at the end of the century. In addition, zinc plates, which are lighter, cheaper, and more flexible than traditional lithographic stones, had been perfected. There was also the influence of Japanese color woodblock prints and the formation of artist's organizations, like the Société des artistes lithographes Français (Society of French Lithographic Artists) and the Société de l'estampe originale (Society of the Original Print), to stimulate printmaking. By the 1890s a proliferation of fine printers, dealers, independent exhibitions, publications devoted to original prints, critics, and publishers all supported color lithography, which flourished in France as the favored printmaking medium of avant-garde artists.