Classical works of art are usually masterpieces each of which is distinct and noteworthy in its own way. Still, a person might interpret these works and find something in them that would be especially memorable for that individual. In this paper, I would like to discuss a poster created by a famous painter, and explain why it caught my attention and stayed in my memory for a long time.
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The work of art that I would like to consider is the poster “Flirt” (Fig. 1) by a famous Czech painter and decorative artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939). Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, where at some point he started painting posters and advertisements in order to earn money. The poster “Flirt” (1899) is one of such advertisements; it was aimed at promoting a brand of biscuits. I first saw this picture while surfing the Internet a few years ago, when I was reading about famous painters.
In spite of the fact that the poster is only an advertisement, it truly is a work of art (along with other numerous Mucha’s creations). It depicts a young woman in a light-colored dress and a young man in a nice suit. The woman’s face is turned to the audience, but her eyes are half-closed, and she is slightly smiling. The rest of her body is turned under the angle of approximately 45° to the man standing to her left. Her lower body is positioned farther from the man, but the upper body “approaches” him. She also exposes her neck to him. The man, on the other hand, is looking at her with distinct interest; his body is turned to her, his right hand is moving the edge of his jacket somewhat backwards, whereas his left hand is placed on his waist, which also denotes his interest in her.
From the description, it is clear that the poster depicts two young people who are flirting. The young woman attempts to show her modesty, positioning the lower part of her body farther from the man; on the other hand, it is also clear that she is interested in him, moving the upper part of the body closer to him, as if leaning to him. She also turns her face away from him and half-closes her eyes – this, too, to show modesty; but, on the other hand, she shows him an exposed part of her neck, which can be interpreted as a sign of trust and a way of flirting, as well as the angle under which her body is positioned in relation to the man. The man is showing his interest in her in a much more open and apparent way by fixing his jacket (as if exposing his chest in the process) and touching his waist.
The picture captured my attention due to the fact that it is psychologically precise; such behavior should have been characteristic of people of the times when the poster was created. It appears completely possible that the woman positions her body this way unconsciously, trying to be modest, but still obliviously showing her interest in the man.
To sum up, “Flirt,” an advertising poster by Alphonse Mucha, caught my attention by its psychological precision. The two individuals depicted in it are “caught” in distinct postures that are very characteristic of people who are flirting with each other. The picture is also very beautiful and pleases the eye; despite the fact that it was created as an advertisement, the poster truly is a work of art.
Flirt – Advertising Posters. n.d. Web.