A talented and visionary artist, he led the Czech Art Nouveau movement as a renowned, decorative artist, who was commissioned to produce illustrations magazine publications; wall designs for buildings; as well as paintings and postcards for art collectors, regardless of their wealth or social standing.
The panel ‘Primrose’ was painted in 1899. Originally, known as ‘Flower’, it was renamed after the publication of his popular series 'Flowers'. Printed on vellum paper, using colour lithography, it was priced to make it affordable for the middle and lower classes (12 Francs).
An luxury, bespoke version of 'Primrose', marketed at the art collectors and members of high-society, the silk satin print was sold for 40 francs.
Mucha's popular Flower series followed on three years after the success of his ‘Four Seasons’ paintings. At this time in his career as an artist, Mucha’s fame and demand for his paintings were steadily increasing.
The themes of flora, nature, humanity and contrast appear in many of Mucha’s paintings. In both ‘Primrose’ and ‘Flower’ (the sister painting) the girls stand, facing each other in perfect harmony.
The curvaceous female is painted from behind, so we only see her back and her side: her facing away suggests a coyness about her. She is holding a bouquet of flowers in her left hand (draped across her slim body) and she is clutching a bundle of primroses in her right hand as she sniffs the pink flowers.
Her head is encased in a floral circular frame, which contains geometrical mosaic motifs to contrast with the randomness of the natural floral imagery in the rest of the painting.