This image is one of a series of posters designed by Alphonse Mucha for the champagne producer Moet et Chandon in 1899. Mucha also designed postcards and other advertising materials for the champagne producer.
He created this particular poster in three versions. Each poster shows the same beautiful female figure, but has different wording for the three grades of their Imperial champagne, 'Dry', 'Cremant' and 'Grand Cremant'.
Born in the Czech Republic in 1860, Mucha was destined to become one of the leaders of the Art Nouveau movement. Before about 1890, in Europe and the United States people thought of 'art' as oil paintings and sculpture. The Art Nouveau movement brought new designs to the decorative arts with sinuous, flowing lines, organic shapes and inspiration from nature.
The young woman in the poster is wearing a dress and robe in the Byzantine style. Her flowing garments are the epitome of the Art Nouveau style. The pale colours, pink and soft peach, offer a gentle reminder of the soft, creamy taste of the champagne the poster advertises.
She holds a jewelled wine cup in her right hand and, with her left, she gathers the richly patterned skirts of her robe. Her hair is swept back in a jewelled bandeau, and she wears an intricate bracelet with a dangling ornament featuring a small bird. Alphonse Mucha was noted for his beautiful and elaborate jewellery designs, and it is just possible that somewhere in the world that bracelet exists today.
She seems to be rising from a carved throne with lions' heads on the arm. In the background, a circular stained glass window echoes the patterns in the elaborate embroidery on her dress. There is a further echo of her bracelet in the two tiny birds at the very top of the panel.