Alfons Mucha was an artist of Czech origin born in Moravia in 1860 and died in Praguein 1939. Although his great artistic triumphs were reached in París, where he arrived in 1887. And it was precisely this poster of the representation of Gismondathe one that served Alfons Mucha to achieve fame and prestige, and somehow become the greatest exponent of the art of modernist signagea in the French capital.
Gismonda by Alfons Mucha
Before him, many show posters were made by Toulouse Lautrec, who made works such as the Jane Avril advertisement in the Jardin de Paris. Although it is true that Toulouse Lautrec and his followers devoted themselves more to other types of cabaret shows and singing cafes.
Instead, Mucha was commissioned to make the poster for the play Gismonda that the great actress Sarah Bernhardt and her company, the Theater de la Renaissance, were going to perform in 1895. Such was the success of this image, and the diva liked it so much that Mucha was offered an exclusive contract for the next 6 years, during which this artist designed the bases of what is the advertising poster in the Art nouveau. And he did it by making the posters for all the works that that company did, such asThe Lady of the Camellias,Tosca,HamletorMedea.
A style of signage that would quickly have many followers and imitators, although some also transformed it and made really original and interesting creations, such as Aubrey Beardsley and some of his posters like the one dedicated to the work Salome by Oscar Wilde.
Going back toMucha, his success was based on the fact that he created the most exuberant images, in which he combined both stylized shapes and more orientalizing details. In general, giving a sensation of glamour, elegance and luxury that served him to carry out other interesting commissions, such as the jewelry designs for an important goldsmith of the time, who was fascinated by the ornaments, in a very Byzantine and oriental style, that he Mucha placed the women on his posters.
Actually, Mucha was an illustrator, poster artist, designer and also a painter, the least known facet of him, except in his country where in recent years he painted works of a very nationalistic nature.
However, these paintings never achieved the success of his posters, which are often carried out by women, always beautiful and resounding, which he does not hesitate to outline perfectly, perhaps due to the influence of 's drawing Paul Gauguin with whom he shared a studio in Paris. And that very modern drawing was able to link it with dresses that on many occasions have a very neoclassical air.
In short, he created a type of floating images, where arabesques, halos andfloral crowns and a delicate line that became a type of graphic design that was very successful in its time of Modernism, between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, but that gradually returns to design fads, such as now that vintage.