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Moon and Stars was painted by the Czech designer and artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) in 1902
Moon and Stars is a colour lithograph decorative panel comprising four portrait orientation panels in the French Art Nouveau style.
The stars are personified via beautiful semi-nude young female forms in flowing robes, illuminated by moonlight. Their dramatic poses, contemplative yet energised, are offset by still, decorative green borders comprising repetitive floral motifs.
Each female form holds a different pose; two making eye contact with the viewer and two looking away from the viewer. The earthy colour tones of greens and browns provide a dramatic contrast against the white moonlight glowing from within the composition.
It is said that Mucha could draw before he could walk; his mother would hang a pencil around his neck while he was crawling to allow him to draw whenever the fancy took him.
Thanks to patronage by a count, he subsequently sought formal training in Munich and Paris. At the end of the 19th century, while in Paris, Mucha revolutionised the style of advertisement poster designs.
He was subsequently in great demand as a renowned designer of items such as theatre posters, decorative panels, magazine covers, postcards, menus, fabrics, wallpaper and jewellery to name but a few.
Mucha was passionate about providing beautiful yet affordable art for the masses and also developed a design handbook for fellow designers.
Le Style Mucha became synonymous with Art Nouveau (a term disliked by Mucha as he believed art was eternal rather than new), and is epitomised by elegant feminine forms in flowing robes, often surrounded by halos and flowers using a pastel pallet.
Moon and Stars is a particularly good example of Mucha's skill for rendering the rich lustre of the flowing garments worn.