Four Seasons 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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Influenced by Hans Makart's The Five Senses (1879), his style was also inspired by the Japanese woodcut decorative style. Mucha’s Seasons (1896) were painted on pânneaux décoratifs (decorative panels).

Each painting features a young woman personifying the harmonious cycle of nature, with a background featuring distinctive seasonal features, which communicates the mood of each season.

In the Seasons, Mucha uses nature, wildlife and women as subtle metaphors for life, death and rebirth: his spiritual philosophy was beginning to emerge.

Mucha chose to produce the Seasons on colour lithograph because he was keen to make art accessible and affordable for all: he soon achieved his desire.

Consequently, the popularity of his affordable art meant he quickly created similar pânneaux works: The Flowers (1898), The Arts (1898), The Times of the Day (1899), The Precious Stones (1900), and The Moon and the Stars (1902).

The Four Seasons: Spring (1896)

Mucha personifies Spring as an innocent, fair-haired figure. The translucent white dress is a metaphor for virginity. As she stands beneath blossoming tree, the blossom flowers appear in her hair symbolises the potential of new life.

In her hand she holds a branch fashioned into a lyre. Three small birds sit on the lyre – the use of birds in each season is one of the consistent metaphors in these paintings.

The Four Seasons: Summer (1896)

With a delicate background of blue sky, Mucha portrays Summer as a sultry brunette sunbathing in the glorious sunshine. Lounging among red poppies, Summer leans against a grapevine, splashing her feet in the shallow pool beneath. This serene image, and the metaphor for adulthood, is loved by many people.

The Four Seasons: Autumn (1896)

Autumn is represented as a playful and bountiful figure. Set amongst a rich tapestry of autumnal plants, fruits and flowers, her long auburn hair holds a wreath of chrysanthemums. She gathers grapes from an abundant vine; a metaphor for the bountiful supplies that Autumn offers.

The Four Seasons: Winter (1896)

The influence of Japanese culture and woodcuts is best exemplified by Mucha’s fourth season: Winter. Standing in a snow-covered, frozen landscape and huddled in a green cape (representing future growth), Winter warms a small bird, while three other birds watch enviously.