Thursday, 21 June 2012

More art nouveau posters

So, I know I’ve already waxed lyrical about art nouveau posters once in my blog about Henri Privat-Livemont. But now I’ve gone and found another poster artist that I think I love just as much.

Alphonse Mucha (or Alfons) was from what was to become the Czech Republic, but – quelle surprise – moved to Paris just in time for the belle époque renaissance in art and design. According to Wikipedia, his first job was a poster for a Sarah Bernhardt play in 1895; apparently the actress loved it so much she signed up Mucha to make all her posters for the next six years. Now that’s celebrity endorsement.

Although I would previously have thought Mucha and Privat-Livemont’s work is rather similar, looking at them side-by-side I can see the differences. Mucha’s women are entwined and encircled by all those curls and spirals – their hair, their dresses, even the leaves in the background, are sinuous and sensual. I think Mucha also uses more fleshy and warm tones, and I bet if gold paint/ink was easy to come by, he would have used plenty of it. I really didn’t think it was possible to find sexier art nouveau posters than those by Henri Privat-Livemont, but I think Alphonse Mucha just about cinches it. My favourite has to the vintage Moet & Chandon advert, which just oozes luxury, opulence and pleasure. Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel like going out and buying some champagne…

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