Alphonse Mucha Girl on a RockAlphonse Mucha bestowed The Slav Epic upon Prague in 1928. This work of art was considered by many, and by the artist himself to be his life’s work. Mucha considered The Slav Epic his own personal masterpiece. The Epic shows the history of the Slavic people, particularly the Czechs, in a series of twenty incredible paintings which have been on display in a chateau in the Czech Republic since 1963. Although it has often been proposed that the series be moved from the chateau that has housed it for forty-seven years to more tourist centric Prague, there is simply no gallery large enough to accommodate a work of this size.

Many considered Mucha’s artistic style to be outdated and this was still true at the time of his death of a lung infection in 1939, but the popularity of Art Nouveau in the 1960s brought with it renewed interest in Mucha’s work and his unique, recognizable style. This style was adopted in large part by Michael English and Nigel Weymouth, two artists from Britain who worked under the name Hapshash and the Coloured Coat and designed posters for the psychedelic rock bands Pink Floyd and The Incredible Sting Band.

Alphone Mucha was not simply known for his paintings, although many of his most famous works do fall under this medium. From Princess Hyacinth to Lottery of National Unity, Mucha’s poster designs are some of the most visually stunning examples of his unique style. His self portrait, although it appears unfinished, shows the fine although somewhat unconventional attention to detail in his work that has made his style so popular among artists in the Art Nouveau genre. Although sometimes overlooked historically, Mucha’s forays into sculpture displayed a lifelike yet grand quality as evidenced in Head of a Girl, La Nature and Girl on a Rock.

Alphonse Mucha Princess HyacinthInterested in drawing and visual arts from a young age, it was Mucha’s fine singing voice that was perhaps most well known in his formative years. These abilities allowed him to continue his education throughout high school. Mucha moved to Vienna in 1879 where he was employed with a theatrical design company. During his employ with this company, he continued to further his artistic education and when he returned to Moravia, the town where he was born, following the fire that destroyed the design company he began working as an artist doing portrait painting and other forms of decorative painting. When he was hired by Count Karl Kheun to paint murals for his castle, Kheun was so pleased with Mucha’s work he financed his training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts.

After moving to Paris in 1887, Mucha began to take work creating illustrations for magazines and advertisements while he continued his education. Seven years later, Mucha would produce the work that gained the artist his first real public recognition; a poster for a play titled Gismonda starring well known Parisian actress, Sarah Bernhardt. Bernhardt, in fact, was so impressed by the artist’s work, she began a six year contract with Mucha right away. What many don’t realize is that this work, which undoubtedly brought Mucha his first real public success as an artist, was a job that was not even intended for him. He simply happened to be in a print shop when he overheard a new poster was needed for the play and volunteered his services. From there Mucha would go on to produce some of the most recognizable and most unique works and inspire many artists of the Art Nouveau scene.
Alphonse Mucha Les Saisons

You can see most of Alphonse Mucha art if you travel in Prague. For your best  accomodation choices make sure you check these Prague Hotels 

Sponsored Links