L'Annee Qui Vient (1897)

This chalk drawing was made in 1897 for a calendar planned for the year 1898. It was printed by Mucha's Parisian printer, F.Champenois, but there are no records on the company who commissioned the calendar and no trace of a finalised printed edition. Nevertheless, Mucha's drawing itself became a great success. The calendar part of the design was removed and it was sold as a decorative panel in 1898 under the title Evocation. Featuring a floating veiled woman carrying a bouquet, rendered in chalk lines, Mucha's drawing captures a dreamy vision of a spiritual being which he had been pursuing since the early 1890s. The word 'evocation' means not only 'to bring something to the conscious mind' but also 'the act of calling a spirit'. At that time, Mucha was close to the Spiritualists' circle in Paris, often participating in psychic experiments in his studio using a medium. The woman's fixed gaze and rigid posture show the influence of such experiments.