The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
7 December 1887: Construction of the legs with scaffolding.
20 March 1888: Completion of 1st level.
15 May 1888: Start of construction of second stage.
Lefèvre-Utile, a Nantes-based manufacturer of biscuits, commissioned
top artists to do their publicity. In addition to posters, Mucha also
designed box tops, wrappers and other printed matter for the company.
The social setting depicted in this poster is intended to show Lefèvre-Utile products to be consumed in high society.
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860 – 1939), was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and
decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He produced many
paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs. His
Art Nouveau style was often imitated. The Art Nouveau style however, was
one that Mucha attempted to disassociate himself from throughout his
life; he always insisted that rather than maintaining any fashionable
stylistic form, his paintings were entirely a product of himself and
LEFEVRE UTILE, better known worldwide by the initials LU, is a
manufacturer brand of French biscuits, emblematic of the city of Nantes.
Lefèvre-Utile was founded in Nantes, France, in 1846 by Jean-Romain
Lefèvre. Originally he sold biscuits from the English factory Huntley
& Palmers and then he began his own production. The name LU comes
from Lefèvre and his business partner and wife, Pauline-Isabelle Utile.
Their initials were first utilized by Alfons Mucha for an 1897 calendar
ad for the Lefèvre-Utile Biscuit Co. That same year the company hired
Firmin Bouisset to create a poster ad. Bouisset, already noted for his
work for the Menier Chocolate company, created Petit Écolier ("the
Little Schoolboy") which incorporated the LU initials. Bouisset's poster
was used extensively and the image was embossed on the company's Petit
Beurre line of biscuits. Within a few years, the success of the logo resulted in the company becoming known as LU.