Mucha was a master illustrator who would then produce lithograph prints of his work which could then by used to promote different events. At this time in society posters were an important method of publicising such things, with no television or internet at that stage. Whilst there have been thousands of professional illustrators working in this way, no-one has ever managed to achieve quite the level of fame as Mucha, essentially crossing from the professional office job into the world of high level art. He would later use this new found fame to work on more ambitious projects too, some of which were far apart from these style of illustration.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the Art Nouveau period and Mucha was a major part of that, along with Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi. Within the present day Mucha's posters are considered particularly suitable to be hung within modern homes and so there is a good trade in their reproduction, with copyright having long since been lost because of the period that has passed since the artist passed away. There has also been a collective effort to draw more attention to his Slav Epic series as well, which is important for reminding us of the artist's versatility as well as teaching us about the history of the Slavic people in a depth that most would not have known about previously.
Slavia is a poster that reminds us of the patriotic nature of this artist - he was passionate about his people and would have been delighted to help promote the event or business found advertised on this poster. Without access to the translation we are unsure precisely what is being mentioned here, but we can find several banks mentioned, meaning either this is an advertisement for them, or perhaps they are sponsoring a cultural event such as a play or festival. Either way, Mucha resorts to the style that would follow on in most of his work for several years to follow, with extraordinary detail across the artwork and a single portrait placed centrally. It is easy to see with artworks such as this as to why Mucha prints remain quite so popular, over a century later.