Alphonse Mucha (Czech, 1860-1939) Flirt Biscuits Lefevre Utile.
1899, Lithograph in colors on wove paper. Linen backed.
Imp F. Champenois Paris.
Measures : sheet: 24.75 x 11.75 inches.
frame: 35.75 x 22.5 inches.
Condition: Excellent with tape residue on bottom corners and top edge. Cleaned and linen backed with stunning results. Crisp colors with no undulations, no toning or foxing. Sight is A+. Comes with new gilt wood frame, acid free.
“Flirt” was one of the brands of biscuits made by the Lefevre-Utile company, which commissioned Mucha for a number of projects over the years. This small poster was meant as a point of sale display.
The implication inherent in the name of the biscuit is realized here in the discreet flirtation between a very coy maiden and a handsome gentleman, a scene full of ardent intimacy despite its outward decorum; one of Mucha’s tenderest and most romantic concepts. It is always fun to look for the initials “LU” in Lefèvre-Utile posters: here, we can find them on the girl’s dress in profusion, and the full company name appears in the wrought iron gate behind the couple. Plus, there is a quarter slice of the biscuit itself in the lower left corner.
Like most prestige companies, Lefèvre-Utile always displayed its wares at major fairs and trade exhibitions, and kept careful tabs on all the medals and prizes won by their products Lefèvre-Utile had one of the most spectacular private pavilions at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, facing the Seine.
Alphonse Mucha’s romantic posters and paintings epitomize the Art Nouveau movement that swept through Europe and North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With a palette of subdued pastels, the artist depicted beautiful women posed against sensuous, botanical backdrops. In keeping with dominant Art Nouveau aesthetics, his compositions feature florid lines, decorative elements, and natural forms. Mucha first found success as a commercial artist in 1894, when he designed a poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt, the leading actress of the day. After that, he was consistently commissioned to create posters, paintings, theater set designs, costumes, jewelry, textiles, sculptures, and furniture. During his lifetime, Mucha exhibited in Paris, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, London, New York and other major cities.
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