|Christmas in America (1906-1919) Alphonse Mucha
Mucha visited America regularly from 1904.Whilst the second 'phase' of his life seems to have been dominated with the 'Slav Epic' cycle, great canvases and designs of national pride and beauty, he still was able to find time to make Nouveau beauties out of the actress Maude Adams and other illustrative pieces for posters and magazines. This image, entitled Christmas in America seems to show a Northern European goddess, a spirit of Christmas bounty. Around her head she wears a mistletoe crown, as worn by the goddess Diana, symbolising fertility. In her hand she holds fruit, nuts and light, sustenance against the cold and the makings of a feast and celebration. It could be that Mucha's picture is a comment on the traditions of Czech immigrants in America, how they felt they had reached a land of plenty, or that even though they were far from home, their way of life survived.
You may have heard the important Mucha news this week - From April next year, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery will be hosting the first major Mucha exhibition in Britain for a generation. There is obviously much excitement about this subject and I am very much looking forward to hearing more and seeing it. To read more, look here and get excited too.
My pressie suggestion today is linked to Mucha. I own the most fabulous bag by a company called Baba Studio, based in Prague and selling through Etsy. Their bags are beautiful and well-made, and mine is much admired. I really need a smaller one and so am considering this one...
Right, I've now just got back from London and so I better get cracking on my exhibition reviews...