Summer (1896) by Alphonse Mucha.

With the temperature rising inexorably throughout the week—today it hit 30C—it’s been easy to identify with Alphonse Mucha’s languid spirit of summer, and the urge to drape yourself on a branch beside some water. Mucha produced many picture series on different themes, with several attempts at depicting the seasons. This is from the first series in 1896, and is the one I prefer over all the others. The 1903 version deploys all the traditional harvest iconography but also looks much too sedate and overdressed for warm weather; Summer 1896 is suitably enervated and dishevelled. She even looks as though she may be a little horny although it’s unlikely she’d want to do much about that. Her sister spirits may be seen here.

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