Mucha's Take on the Seasons of the Year

Yearly and Daily Cycles in Mucha's Panels

The Seasons (1896) by Alphonse MuchaCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro

In 1896, Mucha began his series of decorative panels with the theme of the four seasons and it remained one of the most popular. In depicting this classic theme from ‘High Art’, Mucha personified the seasons as nymph-like women in a series of four panels. 

Each one captures the mood of the season—innocent Spring...

...sultry Summer...

...fruitful Autumn...

... and frosty Winter—against a corresponding seasonal landscape, as a whole together they represent the harmonious cycle of nature. 

The great success of this series led to many variants, including the design incorporating all four panels into a single ornamental frame, as seen here.

The Times of the Day – Morning Awakening (1899) by Alphonse MuchaCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro

The Times of the Day

In this series, on the other hand, Mucha expressed the mood of four times of the day with the figures of four women - each landscape reflecting their mood.

Each woman’s pose and the seasonal landscape in the background — Morning with Spring...

The Times of the Day – Brightness of Day (1899) by Alphonse MuchaCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro

...Daytime with Summer...

The Times of the Day – Evening Contemplation (1899) by Alphonse MuchaCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro

...Evening with Autumn...

The Times of the Day – Night’s Rest (1899) by Alphonse MuchaCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro

...Night with Winter...

Combining delicate colours with exuberant floral motifs, Mucha then enclosed each composition in an elaborate ornamental frame reminiscent of a Gothic window.

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