Madame Charlotte Caron

In 1890 Mucha was introduced to Madame Charlotte Caron (1849-1925), a lively Alsatian restaurateur, through the Polish painter Władysław Ślewiński. Situated directly opposite the Académie Colorossi at 13 rue de la Grande Chaumière, Madame Charlotte's Crèmerie became a meeting place for a circle of hard-up art students who were able to eat on credit and pay with their paintings.

Regulars at the Crèmerie included artists Paul Sérusier and Paul Gauguin, the British composer Frederick Delius, and the Swedish dramatist and writer August Strindberg. "Hardly ten people could sit down at a time" remembered Delius. It became the setting for many animated discussions on the occult and other artistic experiments, and the fictional setting for the first and fourth acts of Strindberg's play Brott och brott (There are Crimes and Crimes).

Mucha moved into a room above Madame Charlotte's where he stayed until moving into a studio at number 8 of the same street the following year. The tiny café was decorated from floor to ceiling with artworks and Mucha himself and Władysław Ślewiński were responsible for decorating the façade.

There can be little doubt that the hours spent with his artist friends at the Crèmerie were particularly fertile and instrumental in shaping his artistic and intellectual development at this time.