What Is Art Nouveau?
Series: A superb impression of the definitive state. From the edition on this paper (there was also a small edition printed on Japan paper). Transcribed from Mucha’s 1896 poster of the same title by artisans at Atelier Chéret and issued as plate 114 (of 256) in the series Le Maîtres de l’Affiche, bearing the blindstamp of the program (Lugt 1777c) in the sheet lower right. Published by Jules Chéret; printed at Impremiere Chaix (Atelier Chéret), Paris.
Signature: Signed on the stone lower right Mucha.
Publisher: Jules Cheret
Alphonse Mucha is synonymous with Art Nouveau, a style of fine art, decorative art, and architecture that broke with the academicism of the 19th century in favor of florid lines inspired by the natural environment. A lithographed advertising poster he was commissioned to create for a play featuring the celebrated actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1894 catapulted him out of obscurity and brought him instant success as a commercial artist. Rendered in pale pastels, much of his work depicts beautiful young women draped in Neoclassical robes set amidst flowers, feathers, and other sensuous natural forms. He was celebrated not only for illustrating advertising posters, but also for painting, book illustrations, sculpting, and designing theater sets, jewelry, and wallpaper.
Czech, 1860-1939, Ivančice, Czech Republic, based in Paris, France