Who is Alphonso Mucha ?
Born in 1860 in the small town of Ivancice, Alphonso Mucha was famous for 1895 in Paris, with Gismonda, the poster for Sarah Bernhardt 1844 -1923, the greatest actress of the time.
As a poster artist, Mucha developed a very personal style, the “Mucha style “, characterized by sinuous forms mixing Young women, floral motifs and ornamental lines, select a certain range of pastel shades. This is style would soon embody the movement emerging at the time in decorative arts.
On a Personal note, I would love to share that while buying the tickets girl at the counter asked by any means you are less than 19?
Mucha As a Versatile artist:
While he is famous for his posters, Mucha was a versatile artist: Painter, Sculpture, Photographer, Decorator and also a valued teacher. During his first trip to the United States in 1904, he was called “the greatest decorative artist in the world”.
But his political and humanist belief led him to gradually give up this decorative style and to undertake cycles of history paintings, sometimes in very large format, in a militant and idealistic spirit.
Thus around 1900 and 1910, he changed supported resolutely figurative epic paintings, detached from all the European avant-garde artists. Slate works bear witness to his dreams of Unity among all Slav peoples, notably the Slavic Epic (1912-1926), a cycle composed of 20 monumental paintings.
This exhibition traces the career of Mucha and draws The Portrait of flex artist, driven by social and philosophical vision.
1.A Bohemian in Paris
Born in midst of Czech Nation renaissance, Mucha passionately hoped for technician independent of Austro Hungarian Empire.
In Ivancice, the talented youth for his political cause very early on, buy an illustrating satirical magazine and decorating auditoriums. In Munich, where he studied in mid-1818, Mucha became a leading figure with checked and Slavic communities.
In 1887, Mucha arrived in Paris, then the European capital of the Arts. Artists and students flocked here from every country and gather together by the community. Mucha soon created Lada, Slavic students club, then join the Czech community group, Beseda, which he could later chair.
Mucha, who received financial support from count Edward Khuen Belasi (1847- 1896), 2 years at academic Julian, then at Academy Colarossi. But in early 1889, the count cut off his allowance.
Forced to work, Mucha produced illustrations for books and magazines. During these difficult years lived in the Rue de la Grande Chaumiere. Here, he notably met Paul Gauguin and the Swedish writer August Strindberg.
2. Work of Alphonse Mucha As Picture maker for people
In 1890, the poster played a central part in visual culture thanks to the perfection in of colour lithography and the development of advertising. Paris became a veritable open-air gallery, By its Japan -influenced format, its hieratic composition and its pastel colours,
Mucha’s First poster for Sarah Bernhardt revolutionized the code for this medium.
Strengthened by the success, Mucha launched into the creation of advertising posters.
In 1896, he was able to move into a large Apartment studio.
Mucha future also produced ornamental panels for Campeones., Who guaranteed monthly salary.
Jaw Dropping Work of Alphonse Mucha from 1923
These were word free posters, design for decorative purposes. Mucha was won over by the fact, that and light traditional artworks, this new art form was accessible to the general public.
During the following years, his poster circulated throughout Europe, and the “Style Mucha ” became synonyms with Art Nouveau, which was then appearing on the scene.
3.Mucha, the cosmopolitan
From 1885 to around 1890, his fame grew, and at the same time, Art Nouveau swept through all major cities of Europe. In 1900, he was the master of the poster and most sought- after decorator of Paris.
He does involve many projects related to the Exposition Universelle of Paris in 1900, the greatest event of the century”.
He notably decorated the pavilion of Bosnia Herzegovina, Islamic connect to Austria Hungary since 1878. This order represented a real political stake. After the exposition, Mucha was named the member of the order of Francis Joseph 1.
This episode put him in a paradoxical and uncomfortable situation in relation to his own convictions. But it inspired him with the idea of an epic that would depict the joys and sorrows of all Slav peoples,
By highlighting the ties that the United them and their common struggle against oppression.
From 1904 to 1909, he visited the United State five times in the hope of raising the necessary fund for this project which would become the Slav Epic.
In 1909 at Chicago industrialist, Charles Richard Crane agreed to finance it.
4. Mucha, The Mystic
In the autumn of 1894, he met the Swedish author August Strindberg a friend of Gauguin. A mystic, Steinberg was deeply interested in occultism and theosophy.
From their regular philosophical discussions, that there where “mysterious forces” guiding each person’s life was born in Mucha.
In 1898, let him join the Grand Orient de France, the best and largest freemason lodge in continental Europe.
For Mucha, Freemasonry was an extension of his spiritualism.
It advocates “the improvement of humanity” And the “consciousness of freedom”
Around three virtues, Beauty, Truth and love, the cornerstones of the human condition. With his art, Mucha meant to contribute to Humanities’ progress.
The illustrated and commented words of Le Pater(The Lord’s Prayer) this book, published in 1899, address to future generation some message concerning Humanities progress and how one can reach universal truth.
5.Mucha, The Patriot
In 1910, finally return to his Homeland to realize his longtime ambition: To put his art at the service of his country and his compatriots.
Thanks to the sponsorship of Charles Richard Crane, he pursued this objective with energy and determination. In 1911, after having completed the decoration of the lord mayor hall in Municipal house in Prague, into the Zbiroh Castle, in western Bohemia and concentrated on the Slav Epic project.
The Slav Epic was resonating call meant to inspire every Slav and to guide their future, by encouraging them to learn from their own history.
Mucha chose twenty major episodes which, according to him, had marked these people from a political, religious, philosophical or cultural point of view.
Ten scenes were drawn from Czech history sentence from the past from other Slav nations. Mucha undertook considerable preparatory work. He read, consulted scholars and took a trip to Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montero, Poland Russia, and Greece, where he Drew photographs and studied local costumes and traditions.
6. Artist and philosophers
Anxious to contribute to the spiritual unity of his Slavic compatriots, Mucha was convinced that hot could help people come together for the progress of humanity. By spreading philosophical ideas, art could bring them together closer to each other and help keep the peace, since the Treaty of Versailles did not settle territorial questions between newly independent Slavic Nations.
In 1938 Czechoslovakia laws class border region to Germany, Poland, and Hungary. On 15 March 1939, the Germans entered Prague. Mucha’s homeland lost its independence, 20 years after having gained it. Mucha, both are well-known figures and freemason, was one of the first to be arrested by the Gestapo.
Discouraged and suffering from pneumonia, he died in Prague on 14 July 1939, 10 days after his 79th birthday.
His work is of a visionary who was ahead of his time.