Luchon 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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Luchon was produced in 1895 by Alphonse Mucha and is now a part of a private collection. It is one of many advertisement posters designed by the artist over a period of several decades.

This would be one of the earliest commercial illustrations that he produced in this style, and the content is a little different to the more common approach for which he would later become so famous. Typically, he had soft artworks with female portraits in order to promote lifestyle products, which ranged over time as he started to attract different patrons. In this case there is a male figure on horseback who recoils backwards to look directly at us. Besides him are several city scenes which appear to be selling the qualities of a particular location, making it perhaps an early example of advertising from a regional tourist board. The top banner area is then given a white background which stands out purposely against the rest of the content and in this place the title of the artwork is added - 'Luchon, la Reine des Pyrenees'. There is then a dark grey background for a smaller banner at the very top of the composition which provides some more specific information about the main content.

The contrast in this painting seems more aggressive than in many of Mucha's later pieces, with thicker lines forming shapes. His style perhaps became a little more refined and elegant after this, but there is still plenty to appreciate within this composition. Mucha would ultimately become known and respected for helping a variety of companies successfully promote their business over a number of years and this allowed him to generate a solid list of patrons who provided a steady stream of work which helped him to establish his financial future and eventually have the freedom to take on some of his own projects, and expand his oeuvre into new areas. The best example of this would be his Slav Epic series of twenty paintings which took several decades between coming up with the idea and then to finally have the whole body of work completed.

Mucha was a rare breed - an illustrator who worked commercially for many years and ultimately managed to achieve fame. His career is still widely celebrated around the world and he fits closely with a number of related artists who were parts of this Art Nouveau movement that covered several different disciplines and also had different terms in different countries. Mucha's own contributions have proven popular today and remind us of classical lifestyles from over a century ago, way before many of the distractions of the present day such as new technology. We like to refer back to these simpler times by displaying art such as this on our walls, through reproduction art prints.