This poster continues the artist's contributions to the Art Nouveau movement, and features a subdued colour palette on this occasion. The dragon to the top of the scene represents the conqueror who threatens the city of Florence. It peers menacingly over the main character who holds a pensive look whilst considering any options available that might prevent the defeat of their city to the oncoming forces. Behind these two characters is the swirling illustrative qualities of Mucha which features a curved frame with accompanying text as well as a floral pattern which fills in the rest of the painting.
Beyond the brown clothing, the main figure in this painting has a dagger tucked into a belt as well as multiple touches of decoration around the knee and also on the cape. There is a large pendant in the centre of the chest hanging just above the book that is held in the left hand. These symbolic additions probably represent knowledge and strength. The artist signs the piece in the bottom right of the composition, as he did with most of his works at around this time. Mucha received a large number of commissions during his career, with many attempting to make use of his respected skills as an illustrator in order to better promote their particular service or product.
This delightful poster from 1896 is actually now owned by the V&A Museum in London, UK. This huge institution hosts an incredible array of art and antiquities, covering a whole host of different cultures and civilisations. Mucha was employed to produce advertising for a good number of different theatre shows and some of these have become amongst the highlights of his career. This particular piece is listed by the V&A as a lithograph, which was a medium in which the artist was involved frequently. The artwork has a good number of inscriptions on the back which help us to confirm its creator as well as confirming its date and location at the time.