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This painting, created in 1897 as an advertisement for Trappistine Liquors, is an excellent example of Alphonse Mucha's Art Nouveau style
If you've ever had the opportunity to stroll through the streets of Paris, then it's quite likely that you've come across the works of Czech-born Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha.
Having achieved fame in 1894 after being commissioned to create posters for the actress Sarah Bernhard, he was later requested to design various commercial prints throughout Paris.
Alphonse Mucha was of the best known artists in fin-de-siècle Paris and the images in his paintings have become forever intertwined with the city.
In this artwork, a strong and graceful woman holds an armful of flowers which match the flowers in her hair. Her hair itself, a long mane resembling some of the other feminine subjects in Mucha's work, cascades down to the small table next to her. This leads the viewer's eye to the bottle of La Trappistine liqueur.
This Trappistine Liquors poster, like many other Mucha paintings, depicts a long-haired woman in a flowing gown and rendered in soft, natural colours. The hair, flowers, femininity, and the halo circling her head are all hallmarks of Mucha's style.
The halo itself is filled with a pattern of circles filled with crosses. This decorated halo serving as the backdrop is reminiscent of a religious setting, or perhaps a stained glass window.
A fitting motif for a product allegedly made by following a recipe originally created by a group of Trappist monks.
Alphonse Mucha passionately believed that art should be accessible for everyone, be they very rich, or very poor. His philosophy was that art is an essential benefit to all of humanity, to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
It would seem that with his extensive body of work, including paintings, postcards, advertisements, and other various designs, he truly dedicated his life to that end.