The Colours Of Mucha
Alphonse Mucha is one of my favorite artists. I really love the long, flowing lines and great colour use of his Jugendstil/Art Nouveau style litographs.
Sometimes artists have a favorite palette, a certain set of colour(s) they use often. I wanted to see if this was true for Mucha, so I used a few of my favorite works of him. This post really couldn’t be possible without the website www.colourlovers.com. Go check it out, it’s awesome! You can create all sorts of colours, palettes and patterns with it. You can also use it to create a personalized theme for your twitteraccount^^
Mucha’s set of two advertisements/labels for Moët et Chandon are my favorite works from him, so I had to include these. The other four works are a series on the seasons of the year, and the last one is also a personal favorite, “Dance”.
I love the haughty expression of this lady. She’s such a classic beauty, but also slightly… ruthless. When I think of a femme fatale, this image pops up in my head, that’s for sure!
The palette is very simple and harmonious. One of the things about Mucha’s art that really inspires is me is the fact that his colours are great. They work, they don’t clash, and yet they are bright and very interesting, instead of dull.
This woman seems much friendlier to me, but I can’t really gauge her expression. She could be thinking about cute puppies or be plotting many ways to kill me, but whatever she’s doing, she’s doing it with flair.
The colours of this work feel very autumny to me, even though there are flowers in this work. It’s a funny contradiction. Somehow this woman seems much younger than the one above. Perhaps it’s her dress, because even though it is more revealing, it seems much more innocent than the one above.
This palette is just so springy. It’s really fresh, almost makes me want to clean up. Weird. Curious is the fact that in this painting there’s almost the exact shade of white as on the other two - but while in the first pair, it’s simply the color of the paper, on this one it’s the lady’s dress. I’m not entirely sure, perhaps he just shaded some areas and left the rest of the dress open, for the colour of the paper to shine through. I have no idea how lithographs work, so I could be wrong…
Hmmm summer. Lovely season, and I’m already annoyed that I have to put on multiple layers of clothing to go to my horse without freezing. And it’s not even November yet! The Dutch climate decided to become cold quicker than usual this year. Scumbag seasons…
Anyway, I love the way Mucha combines cool and warm colors, he really did a great job on that. Nice contrast between the cool blue air and the warm red flower wreath on her head.
What can I say? The colors in this piece are absolutely fantastic. Only thing is, I can’t decide whether she is pregnant or not… Perhaps I’m looking at her weirdly?
I love all the flowers and the flowing lines, so very Art Nouveau. It really is a fantastic art style…
I think it’s great that Mucha managed to create such a wintery atmosphere with such warm colors. The dead tree limbs and lack of leaves and flowers add to that, as well as the woman huddling in her dress, trying to warm her hands by rubbing them together and blowing air on them. She must be cold… It’s fantastic how he managed to capture the essence of winter without an abundance of snow.
This piece is called “Dance”, and I don’t think it could have a better title. It gives me the feel I get when I’m alone at home, listening to cheerful music and just doing some happy twirls - I’m terrible at dancing, but in those moments, I feel infinitely graceful. It’s fantastic, the way this man could put this feeling on paper.
I think the most notable thing about the palettes of these artworks, is that the colors are all so warm, even when you wouldn’t expect it (for example, the winter piece). He really seems to favor that type of palette. I always have a weird mish-mash of cold and warm (for those who don’t know, I also love drawing…) and perhaps I should learn from this and keep a better watch on what colors I use. I definitely had fun writing this, and I hope you had as much fun reading it!
“The Seasons: Autumn” by Alphonse Mucha, 1896
This panel is part of a set of four from the Seasons series created in 1896:
From the Mucha Foundation:Previously: “Job” (poster) by Alphonse Mucha, 1898.
This was Mucha’s first set of decorative panels and it became one of his most popular series. It was so popular that Mucha was asked by Champenois to produce at least two more sets based on the same theme in 1897 and 1900. Designs for a further two sets also exist.
The idea of personifying the seasons was nothing new - examples could be found in the works of the Old Masters’ as well as in Champenois’s other publications. However, Mucha’s nymph-like women set against the seasonal views of the countryside breathed new life into the classic theme. In the four panels shown here, Mucha captures the moods of the seasons - innocent Spring, sultry Summer, fruitful Autumn and frosty Winter, and together they represent the harmonious cycle of Nature. (Mucha Foundation: “The Seasons (series)”)