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Alphonse Mucha10


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Born in Moravia in 1860, Alphonse Mucha moved to Paris in his 20s and went on to become one of the greatest exponents of the art nouveau style. Mucha was one of the most fascinating artistic personalities of the turn of the 20th century. He was not only a painter and graphic artist, but also took an interest in sculpture, jewelry, interior decorating, and utilitarian art.
Alfons Mucha died in Prague shortly before the invasion of Czechoslovakia by German troops on July 14, 1939. It was Mucha’s belief that through the creation of beautiful works of art the quality of life would be improved. He also believed that it was his duty as an artist to promote art for ordinary people. He was able to fulfill both of these objectives by means of his innovative concept of the mass-produced decorative panel.

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Alphonse Mucha10

  1. 1. 10
  2. 2. Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), whose work is indissolubly linked with the Art Nouveau style, was one of the most fascinating artistic personalities of the turn of the 20th century. The 1900 World Fair in Paris served as a springboard for the Slavic artist, who was entrusted by the Austro-Hungarian authorities to design the Bosnia-Hercegovina pavilion. Although it enjoys great popularity today, at the time when he died, Mucha's style was considered outdated. His son, author Ji í Mucha, devoted muchř of his life to writing about him and bringing attention to his artwork. In his own country, the new authorities were not interested in Mucha. His Slav Epic was rolled and stored for twenty-five years before being shown in Moravsky Krumlov, and a Mucha museum opened in Prague, managed by his grandson John Mucha. Galeria Bratislava Praga 1930
  3. 3. The Austrian, Bosnian and Hungarian pavilions next to each other at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, Paris. Photo from
  4. 4. The Bosnian and Hungarian pavilions at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, Paris. The Bosnian pavilion was awarded the silver medal at the World Fair and won Mucha the French title of Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.
  5. 5. Insidethepavilion OfficialBanquetoftheParisExhibition1900:designfor themenufeaturingafashionablewomanwearinga Mucha-stylejewellery
  6. 6. 1900 Bosnian pavilion Menu for the Restaurant at the Paris Exhibition Inside the pavilion
  7. 7. 1900Bosnianpavilion-designforthemenu Bosnia & Herzegovina Pavilion at the Paris Exhibition 1900- interior view with Mucha's wall paintings
  8. 8. The Allegory of Bosnia Herzegovina (“'Bosnia Offers Her Products to the World”) Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague Among Mucha’s works for the 1900 exposition, his murals produced for the Pavilion of Bosnia- Herzegovina, recently annexed to Austro-Hungary, have a particular significance. One of three pavilions exhibited by the Austro-Hungarian empire, the decoration of the Bosnia-Herzegovina pavilion was a highly prestigious commission; following the exposition Mucha was awarded the Order of Franz Josef I for his contribution towards the empire.
  9. 9. Fragment from the lower frieze (Bosnia- Herzegovina Pavilion - Paris, 1900) Musée d'Orsay, Paris Fragment from upper frieze - 140 x 650 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
  10. 10. Fragment from the lower frieze, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
  11. 11. Fragments from the upper frieze, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
  12. 12. View of the Bosnia- Herzegovina Pavilion in the Mucha exhibition at the Belvedere, Vienna 2009
  13. 13. The Prehistoric Eras. (Chronologically Stone, Bronze and Iron) Tempera on Canvas 353.5 x 687.5 cm
  14. 14. The Prehistoric Eras. (Chronologically Stone, Bronze and Iron)
  15. 15. Cycle: Arrival of the Slavs, The Roman Era, In front of an Ionic temple. Tempera on Canvas 349.5 x 730.5 cm
  16. 16. Cycle: The Apostles Tempera on Canvas 356x 377.5 cm However, the commission reminded Mucha of the political position that his homeland and all other Slavonic nations were forced to be in at the time: after many centuries of struggle against foreign oppression political freedom was still out of their reach and in the Paris exposition the Czechs and other Slavs were represented under the Austrian administration.
  17. 17. Cycle: Before the Tribunal: The oath of the sword, an old man passes judgment. Tempera on Canvas 345x 400 cm As he wrote later, Mucha felt frustrated by his own artistic standing in Paris: while his posters and decorative panels were adorning the salons of the highest society, ‘my homeland was left to quench its thirst on ditch water.’
  18. 18. Cycle: The coronation of the king of Bosnia, The Revenge of the Bogomils: The heretics of the 12th century Tempera on Canvas 355x 713 cm
  19. 19. Cycle: The coronation of the king of Bosnia, The Revenge of the Bogomils: The heretics of the 12th century Tempera on Canvas 355x 713 cm Detail
  20. 20. Cycle: The Catholic Faith, the Orthodox Faith and Islam, represented in three groups: A catholic confirmation, the Orthodox blessing water, and the architects of the mosques. Tempera on Canvas 356x 705 cm Detail
  21. 21. Cycle: The Religions (detail) the architects of the mosques. Mucha resolved this problematic assignment by transforming the pavilion into a celebration of the history and the cultural diversity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  However, the theme that he truly wished to represent in the murals – the sufferings of the oppressed Slavs – would have to wait to be fully developed in his masterpiece, the Slav Epic (1911-1926). During this period, as if reflecting his internal conflicts, Mucha produced numerous charcoal and pastel drawings, which were dark, sometimes mysterious, and highly expressive with strong and quick strokes – a completely different style from the one familiar in his Parisian posters. 
  22. 22. Photo 1900 (687,5cm long)
  23. 23. Bosnia & Herzegovina Pavilion – illustration featured in 'Le Figaro Illustré' (1 March 1900)
  24. 24. After the artist left the decorative arts scene in Paris in 1910, his style developed a patriotic character, emphasizing uniquely Czech roots and identity. Mucha, stating that “a taste for symbols is part of the inheritance of all Slavs … that is why the language of symbols is the surest way to communicate our feelings to our brother Slavs,” utilized the skills he had honed in his Parisian works to produce a sophisticated program of propaganda in support of Pan-Slavic ideals. Mucha was chosen as one of the main designers for the currency once Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918. For Mucha to be chosen as the artist of the new currency of Czechoslovakia was a great honor, establishing him as the representative artist of the nation. It is interesting to note the changes that occur in Mucha’s style as he moves away from his Parisian decorative works to his patriotic posters. The sweet pastels are replaced with bold colors and an emphasis of the Pan-Slavic colors of red, white, and blue. Múza (Sibyla), 1920
  25. 25. Posterforthetenthanniversaryofthe CzechoslovakRepublic,1928
  26. 26. The Song (1934-5)
  27. 27. Interest in Mucha's distinctive style experienced a strong revival during the 1960s (with a general interest in Art Nouveau)
  28. 28. Madrid 2009 Bratislava 2014 Mucha Exhibition
  29. 29. Bratislava Exhibition 2014 Aurore et Crépuscule - (Down & Dusk)
  30. 30. Bratislava Exhibition 2014 Aurore et Crépuscule - (Down & Dusk)
  31. 31. Bratislava Exhibition 2014 Nero Watching The Burning of Rome — 1887
  32. 32. Bratislava Exhibition 2014 Zéphyr and Chloris, 1881 1899, Brass relief
  33. 33. Bratislava Exhibition 2014 Samaritanka
  34. 34. 2013 Museum Bellerive - Zürich
  35. 35. 2014 Bröhan Museum in Berlin
  36. 36. Seoul Arts Center 2013
  37. 37. Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul Arts Center
  38. 38. Sound: Antonín Dvo ák: Violin Concerto in A minor Op.53 (B108) I. .Allegro ma non troppo Chung Kyung-Wha, Violin)ř Text and pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi oreanuş