Chocolat Masson Alphonse Mucha Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Alphonse Mucha produced a series of four posters based around Chocolat Masson in 1897. These coloured lithographs each captured three months of a calendar, producing the full year when displayed together.

The format used within this series was consistent, with the artist providing an illustrated set of patterns across the page, with one main artwork placed in the upper centre of each page. Each Chocolat Masson painting was produced in the familiar Art Nouveau style of this painter, with portraiture being the main content that he used. The iteration in front of us here carries the title in the top, with two figures placed in the painting just below. The months of July, August and September are detailed in French just below. Many of the artist's advertising commissions were during his time in France, and lifestyle products were particularly successful here. Such companies understood that Mucha's artistic style was well suited to aspirational products and that it was important to be associated with his successful commercial career.

Research has revealed that the series actually refers to the four ages of man, which are represented chronologically as we push through the calendar year. They are all believed to have been printed by F. Champenois, Paris and copies of the calendar prints appear at auction every now and again. Interest in Mucha's career remains strong, but it is generally only his original oil paintings that command particularly significant value. As the art world starts to reflect female tastes much better than they would have done previously, artists such as Mucha have received more attention, though obviously women still have just as broad a set of tastes as men. Mucha himself took on commissions within the print medium as a way of supplementing his income but also found that over time it helped him to establish his own reputation, with most designs carrying his signature upon them.

This style of work was common within Mucha's career, with other good examples being the likes of Gismonda, Zodiac and Monaco Monte Carlo. He would truly master the female portrait, and also produced different types of portraiture, such as the more formal poses that had dominated art history in previous centuries. There would also be a number of history paintings earlier in his career which perhaps were more influences by the early teachings that he received, before he started to really put his own imprint on his career. This is entirely common within most artist's career, where people take time to really understand how they want to work, and what direction that want to go in. The earlier periods are more about gaining experience and perfecting technical skills.

Chocolat Masson in Detail Alphonse Mucha