|Alphonse Mucha - Biscuits Lefèvre-Utile|
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 Czech art.
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.