Salome Alphonse Mucha Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Salome was completed by Alphonse Mucha in circa 1897 and was produced as a coloured lithograph, a medium in which this artist was heavily involved during this part of his career. The artwork can now be found in the Davison Art Center in Wesleyan University, Middletown, United States

We find in front of ourselves here a delightful illustration which was used to put together a series of prints which could then be dispersed in a similar way to how traditional artists would spread their reputation by creating high quality etchings. Here Mucha keeps things fairly simple, incorporating a beautiful background made from small circle shapes which feels similar to an octopus or a more general maritime theme. The model seems to lean slightly backwards, revealing some areas of her body. She wears a opaque green dress which would have been in a particularly thin material. There is some detail around her chest, but the rest of the dress is plain, meaning other decorative items are needed to sit alongside. She wears an ornate belt, which looks heavy and bulky, but also adds much interest, visually, to the bottom of the artwork. She also has a headband in a matching colour and some pink material that hangs over both shoulders.

Salome has large earrings and also appears to be playing a traditional musical instrument. Her hair hangs down to below her bottom and is also adorned with many rings all the way down. She has a small amount of makeup but is generally soft in appearance and this is entirely typical of how Mucha liked to portray women within his paintings. It was perhaps similar to the work of the Pre-Raphaelites who appeared within the UK at about the same time and produced many female portraits with slim, pale skinned women with a natural look that remains very popular today and helped to build something of a cult following for its members, such as John William Waterhouse, John Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt. Some of their own finest creations included the likes of Ophelia, The Hireling Shepherd, King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid and Boreas all of which you will probably have come across before.

Mucha was a true master of portraiture and focused almost entirely on the female body with his career, rarely including men or children. This helped him to create a brand that would bring in a variety of patrons over an extended period, helping him to spread his reputation as well as to build a strong financial future. Salome itself is a memorable artwork which remains in the collection of the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown, United States and has also been on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in recent years (it maybe that there are actually several different copies in circulation of the same design). The Davison Art Center itself has a collection which focuses on prints and etchings from past centuries, making it somewhat of a niche, but particularly important, venue in the US. Some notable items to be found here include the likes of St Jerome in His Study, Knight, Death, and the Devil and Melencolia I by Albrecht Durer.