Alphonse Mucha’s “Luchon” is an advertisement from 1895 featuring a smoking woman in the style of a saint, promoting an everyday product. The artwork was created during the Art Nouveau era and reflects Mucha’s distinct artistic style – characterized by decorative elements, intricate details, and pastel colors. Throughout his career, Mucha produced various paintings, illustrations, advertisements and designs.
Mucha was known for carefully studying actress Sarah Bernhardt’s performances to create iconic images of her and designing costumes that would enhance her movements. Although it is unclear whether the woman depicted in “Luchon” is Bernhardt or someone else entirely, the artwork exhibits elements of Mucha’s fascination with female beauty.
The poster was made for Bagneres-de-Luchon – a popular spa town in France – which suggests that the product being advertised might have been related to health or relaxation. The print showcases Grassett’s artistic style along with other printers’ styles of that time.