Monday 9 July 2012

Alphonse Mucha (24 July 1860 – 14 July 1939)

  Alphonse Mucha was a Czech Art Nouveau painter. His works remind me of the works of Gustav Klimt, which is no surprise considering they lived in the same era. Alphonse Mucha's style was first termed the "Mucha Style", afterwhich became known as the "Art Nouveau" style. Art Nouveau wasn't really an art movement, it was more of a decorative-arts, architecture and graphic arts style.

Art Nouveau artists tended to take their inspiration from the curves and flow of nature or the subject.  Symmetry was essentially thrown out the window.  In Art Nouveau the left and right sides were not to match but rather they were to blend together to create a graceful image.

 And talk about fated: Mucha moved to Paris in 1887 where he furthered his studies and worked at producing magazine and advertising illustrations. About Christmas 1894, Mucha happened to go into a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected need for a new advertising poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance on the Boulevard Saint-Martin. Mucha volunteered to produce a lithographed poster within two weeks, and on 1 January 1895, the advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou was posted in the city, where it attracted much attention. Bernhardt was so satisfied with the success of this first poster that she began a six-year contract with Mucha.

  Lots of his works are in public domain, and you can view them at:


"Moet and Chandon White Star"

 "Study of Drapery"
I included this study as I felt it was beautifully rendered, 
and any artists could benefit from imitating the sketch.


Mucha considered his greatest fine art work the Slav Epic. The Slav Epic is Mucha's interpretation of Slavic and Czech history and people. It is made up of 20 huge paintings and he gave the series to the city of Prague as a gift in 1928.  It has resided in the chateau in Moravský Krumlov since 1963. 

  Unfortunately, at his time of death, Art Nouveau had already gone out of style. Nonetheless, we can still appreciate the timeless beauty of his works from the comfort of our own homes, or enjoy his masterpieces that now hang in the Mucha Museum in Prague, managed by his grandson, John Mucha.

  For more of his works, visit:

  Also, if you'd like to be the proud owner of Mucha's works, you can purchase a few selected works via Artsy's Alphonse Mucha page.

  If there's anything else you think I could include in this post, leave me a comment in the comments section below.

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