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Alphonse Mucha: The Seasons

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The first of Alphonse Mucha’s much-copied decorative panels, The Seasons (1896), shows the harmonious cycles of nature. Four beauties, each set against a distinct, natural backdrop, convey the mood of each season. Innocent Spring stands among white blossoms, charming birds; Summer lounges among red poppies; bountiful Autumn rests with chrysanthemums, gathering fruit; and Winter, in a snowy landscape, huddles under a cloak with a small bird. The decorative style of the images illustrates Mucha’s artistic influences and interests. This style reflects his debt to Japanese woodcuts, as well as to Hans Makart’s The Five Senses (1879), while his association of women with a subtle undercurrent of death and rebirth speaks to his interest in symbolism. The choice of medium reflects his interest in making art available to all since the panels were created as affordable art for private homes. (The Art Story)

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