Zodiac 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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For Alphonse Mucha, his big break came with the success of his new lithographed poster for the actress Sarah Bernhardt.

It led to him agreeing to work for the highly respected printers Champenois. His first work under contract with Champenois was in 1896.

This saw him create the lithographic work known as Zodiac. It was going to be for an in-house calendar for the company.

Looking at the Zodiac lithography, what stands out in the picture is a woman with her noble bearing and stylish jewellery. The woman’s head and the female figure are common themes of Murcha's works.

Behind the woman’s head is an almost halo-like effect that displays the twelve signs of the Zodiac. This symbolised the Astrological calendar. The lithograph is in full colour and has hand gold leaf enhancements.

The rest of the work is a design that is a mixture of elegant lines, flowers, and plants as well as a highly decorative border.

Although the work was to have been for an in-house calendar, this changed when it came to the notice of the chief editor of the 'La Plume' magazine, Léon Deschamps.

He bought the rights so that they could give out the lithography as the magazine’s 1897 calendar. The Zodiac has become one of Mucha's most popular designs.

There were several variations of the work. This includes one that does not have any text on it meaning that it could be used as a decorative panel.

During his time under contract with Champenois, they published many of his works on calendars, postcards, theatre programs, and menus. They also licenced his designs to companies and publications like ‘La Plume’ throughout Europe and North America. The result is that it gave his work international acclaim.