Alphonse Mucha Deluxe Address Book
On December 26, 1894, as Alphonse Mucha was finishing his work at Lemercier's printing shop and happily anticipating the traditional St. Stephen's Day supper of roast goose, he received an emergency commission from the formidable Sarah Bernhardt. The actress needed a poster to advertise her production of Gismonda, and she needed it conceived of, executed, lithographed, and glued to Parisian fences and buildings by the first of January.
With the miraculous poster that Mucha turned out (on time), he virtually invented Art Nouveau graphic design. His stunning, profoundly innovative poster—a radical departure from any previous Mucha style—earned its creator instant fame. Thereafter, he worked prolifically in his new genre, enjoying wide commercial success; a less openhanded man would have become rich. But Mucha (Czech, 1860–1939) dismissed his graphic art as unserious, and he went to his grave denying that it had anything to do with Art Nouveau.