Under pressure, Alphonse Mucha launched a new graphic form in December 1894. The actress Sarah Bernhardt commissioned a poster for a new play, giving Mucha less than a week to design it, print it, and get it on the street. Not only did he meet his deadline but his poster introduced Art Nouveau to the world. Famous overnight, Mucha (Czech, 1860–1939) signed a five-year contract with Bernhardt to produce her stage and costume designs as well as more posters. He worked prolifically in his self-invented genre, enjoying broad commercial success without ever getting rich. But Mucha dismissed his graphic work as frivolously pretty and unserious in comparison with his “real” artwork, and he denied that his groundbreaking new style had any connection with the Art Nouveau movement. Calendars are printed with soy-based inks on FSC® certified paper. Measures 12 x 13 in.