Alphonse Mucha

I don’t usually just write about an artist and not pick a particular picture to go with it, but on this occasion I am giving a bash at just speaking about the life and rise of Alphonse Mucha.

There is something decadently elegant about the Art Nouveau movement. Removed from the academic and classical styles which were so readily seen at the turn of the century, this style had a freedom and flow which had an underlying statement of love and beauty. The curvaceous forms and looping lines of the style accentuate the pieces and lent itself to not just retinal art work, but home design and architectural displays.

Alphonse Mucha, was the father of this movement, with the style being called ‘Le Style Mucha’ when it first came in to the public domain, he became famous in this field almost by accident. Mucha hated the term ‘Art Nouveau’ as he felt that art was eternal and never just ‘nouveau’ and he spent most of his career trying to disassociate himself with the term, but was completely unsuccessful.

Mucha was born in the Czech Republic in 1860, and was deeply religious from an early age, he became a chorister at the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul where he received a secondary school education.   While Mucha’s singing abilities afforded him his education, his main hobby was drawing, and he was inspired by the Baroque art which surrounded him.  This hobby led him to work as a decorative painter. In 1879, he moved to Vienna to work for a theatrical design company, which gave informal training to his artistic style.  In 1871 his employers business was destroyed by a fire, and Mucha moved back to his home town, undertaking work as a freelance decorative and portrait painter.  Count Karl Khuen of Mikulov hired Mucha to decorate Hrušovany Emmahof Castle with murals and was impressed enough that he agreed to sponsor Mucha’s formal training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. In 1887 Mucha moved to Paris and continued his studies, and in addition took on design work for magazines and advertisements which are a large part of what people remember Mucha for today.

About Christmas 1894, Mucha wandered 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.  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.

mucha 2

Bernhardt was so happy with Mucha’s work that she signed him up with a six year contract.

From here Mucha create work of women with flowing hair and neoclassical robes in strikingly fluent positions demonstrating the great aesthetic style. His design work reached out in to jewellery, wallpaper, carpets, book illustrations and theatre sets.

In 1900 Mucha was given international exposure in the Universal Exhibition in Paris. It is here that Mucha felt that he had made some contribution toward bringing aesthetic values into arts and crafts.

In 1906 Mucha married and the couple spent four years in New York, where his daughter was born. He started work on his nationalistic project as he was determined to show the Czech Republic that he hadn’t sold out.  Mucha was assisted in this project by Charles R. Crane, who used is fortune to assist funding revolutions.  Eventually Mucha and his family returned to his home country and settled in Prague, and when the country gained its independence, Mucha created murals for official offices and buildings of prominence along with designing the new postage stamps and bank notes.

mucha money

Mucha spent a long time working on what he considered to be his life’s fine art masterpiece, and created a series of 20 pictures which made up The Slav Epic. This depicted the general life and history of the Czech and Slavic people and in 1928 it was bestowed to the City of Prague.

This work edged away from Mucha’s most well-known style and can still be seen in the Prague National Gallery.

mucha 3

Mucha died in 1939, after being arrested by the Gestapo for his nationalistic beliefs and Jewish route. During integration he contracted pneumonia, and he died of a chest infection shortly after his release.

When Mucha died his art was considered to be outdated, but it has periodically made revivals and many have mimicked his style.

Personally I feel that Mucha’s art brings a mysticism and spirituality to art which was unique and vibrant.

The fluidity in his work accentuating the feminine form and softness which is associated with the underlying tones of his work. His use of women in his work was a direct reaction to the overly-industrialized, impersonal, “masculine” world.

If you are visiting Prague, you can see more of his work in the National Gallery, which you can get more information about here

No matter how you feel about Mucha’s work, it is impossible to deny that it feels luxurious and stylistic. His passion for art shining through his technique leaving a legacy which will penetrate the art work eternally.

mucha job

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

Anonymole - apocryphal abecedarian

Mental meanderings of a subterranean gadriosopher

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

..because the thoughts that fall, kicking and screaming from my head need a safe place to land..

MARKOVICH PHOTO ART

MarkovichUniverse AT gmail.com

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love After Forty

My expressions

unexpressed thoughts

Fang & Saucer

From Stokervania to Austenland - to Infinity and Beyond!

Art & criticism by eric wayne

Art and Criticism by Eric Wayne

Quaint Revival

quirks, quips & photo clicks

It's Turpintime!

Stuff & Bits For The Muddled and Addled.

Scribbles

When the universe hands me a pen and then regrets it

The Artsy Psyche

I speak in colours and metaphors.

Eerie Unsolved

A Mix-Up of Mysteries, Conspiracie and All Things Spooky!

As Lady Stitch

Living with fibromyalgia.

Being Beckyy

We were born to be real, not to be perfect.

The Battles of Frankie

The failings and anecdotes of an average Aussie woman

The Formidable Endeavor

Ph.D. student life

The Indy Diarist

A Day in the Life

Leggings & Tea

Books. Art. Life.

The Non-Alcoholic Student

Ramblings on the University experience from a sober student

High Lumen

lighting design blog

Lady with Black Lipstick

Hopeless romantic speaking her thoughts.

Scandi Lifestyle

A lifestyle blog about all things Scandinavian

james'snotes

This is the page where I will share my thoughts about football, my memories and funny stories.

MYRA'S PANORAMA

A panorama is defined as an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer. My panorama includes a jumbled mess of ideas and thoughts waiting to be typed out. Welcome to my panorama.

Marina Baker

marketing, social media, & business development

Chef Dave, Esq.

Lawyer by trade -- Cook by passion

MakeItUltra™

Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

PURPOSE IN THE PROCESS

The Insides

Sometimes it's not about the happy ending, but about the story.

Diary of a Twenty Something

Finding meaning in the small and mundane...

ANNYWHO.

an online diary of an introvert.

ticktalksite

Tick talk, around the clock. Because Lyme disease never takes a day off.

Amdall Gallery

Collection of artwork, data analysis, and other assorted projects by Jon

The Butterfly Tree

where stories take wings

The Planet According to Dom

Where humour and adventure collide

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

%d bloggers like this: