As we learned last week, Alphonse Mucha first came to national renown through his poster for Sarah Bernhardt’s play Gismonda, the commission of which he happened upon by chance.
He made several more posters for “La Divine Sarah”, as well as designing jewelry and costumes for her theatre productions.
On this last one, we can see the halo that would become so ubiquitous in Mucha’s work.
Mucha also became well-known for his stunning art for advertisements. Very few of them had people wearing contemporary (Edwardian) clothing; most wear what resembles classic Greek dress.
Notice how he made a halo effect with the “O” in the ad below. This poster is also a good demonstration of Mucha’s preference for thick outlines.
The poster above was to advertise for an early arts-advocacy group in Paris. The society presented lectures and showed artworks to the public using the new technology of slide projection. The woman, who I assume represents Art, leans on a projector and holds glass slides in her lap.
This last poster was part of a pair; the other ad was for White Star champagne. In both, Mucha strove to represent the beverage in the form of a woman – personifying it. But only someone who’s tasted these drinks could tell us if he succeeded!
This picture is also a great transition to next week’s post about Mucha’s art posters, which feature similarly sensuous ladies.