Mucha's illustrative style was well suited to portraying a glamorous and desirable lifestyle and many different products at the time could partner up with this approach. Lefevre Utile, for example, manufactured premium food and drink products which were aimed at the growing middle class segment. Paris was home to a growing wealth and those below that level of society aspired to become a part of it. Lefevre Utile immediately saw the impact that Mucha could have on their sales and continued to use him for several other posters that advertised the same products, but varied the compositions each time. We must remember that this was a commercial illustrator who was forced to bend to the will of his patrons, when otherwise he might have chosen to take his career in an alternative direction, if he had had the financial freedom to do so.
Mucha would leave behind a large array of advertisement posters by the end of his career and clearly enjoyed the artistic challenges that these commissions brought him. They also help to give us a visual representation of advertising in the late 19th century, long before the modern media that we use today had even arrived. Lithographic prints would be made from his designs and these would then be placed around city centres in order to strengthen the brand of each company and their respective products. We have featured around four artworks within this site, all of which were produced by Mucha for Lefevre Utile within a relatively short period of his career. He would leave the company and product names on the artwork itself, normally somewhere around the bottom and always in a suitable, elegant typeface.
Mucha rose from a commercial background to achieve fame across Europe, culminating in his Slav Epic series which was to become a huge cultural gift to the Slavic people. He worked hard to get to this point, though, and also contributed to the Modernist movement which spread across Europe under a number of different names. For example, Catalan architect, Gaudi, would also be loosely tied to this exciting new movement which spanned across quite a number of different artistic disciplines. There would be representatives, unofficially, across the majority of Europe during this period, with the most memorable contributions to this Modernist movement appearing in Italy, France, Germany and Austria.