Alphonse Mucha13


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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.
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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  • Susan Milan flûte Ian Brown piano
  • Alphonse Mucha13

    1. 1. 13
    2. 2. The Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was the single most influential figure in Mucha’s life as an artist.  It was his first poster for her, Gismonda, that made him famous and he grew both as a man and an artist through his professional collaboration and friendship with the greatest stage personality of the era. Mucha met Sarah Bernhardt for the first time in late 1894.  Legend says that on St. Stephen’s Day (26th December) Mucha, then a humble illustrator, was doing a favour for a friend, correcting proofs at Lemercier’s printing workshop, when the actress called the printer with an immediate demand for a new poster for her production of Gismonda. All the regular Lemercier artists were on holiday, so Mucha was turned to in desperation. Despite his lack of experience in designing posters, Mucha grabbed this opportunity and, to his own amazement, ‘La divine Sarah’ loved his work.  Mucha’s Gismonda posters were up all over Paris on the morning of 1st January 1895 and they were to revolutionise poster design. The long narrow shape, the subtle pastel colours and the stillness of the near life-size figure introduced a note of dignity and sobriety, which were quite startling in their novelty. The posters immediately became objects of desire to collectors, many of whom used clandestine methods to obtain them, either bribing bill stickers or simply going out at night and cutting them down from the hoardings.
    3. 3. Delighted with the success of Gismonda, Sarah Bernhardt immediately offered Mucha a contract to produce stage and costume designs as well as posters.  Under this contract, Mucha produced six more posters for her productions: La Dame aux Camélias (1896), Lorenzaccio (1896), La Samaritaine (1897), Médée (1898), La Tosca (1898) and Hamlet (1899). Mucha applied to these posters the same design principle as that he had developed for Gismonda – the use of an elongated format with a single, full-standing figure of the actress placed in a raised shallow alcove like a saint.
    4. 4. 1896LaDameauxCamélias BibliothèquenationaledeFrance,Paris 1896Lorenzaccio
    5. 5. 1897TheSamaritan Posters spread throughout Europe during the 1890s thanks to the development of colour lithography, a multi- colour printing technique. A gifted draughtsman with a natural ability for design, Mucha was well placed to explore this new artistic medium. After the overnight success of his first poster, Gismonda (1894) Mucha established his fame as a ‘Master of Poster Art’ (Maître de l’Affiche).
    6. 6. The majority of his iconic posters were produced with the Parisian printer, F. Champenois, with whom he signed an exclusive contract in 1896. Mucha produced over 100 designs for advertisements, decorative panels and calendars under this contract. 
    7. 7. 1898Médée
    8. 8. The collaboration between Mucha and Sarah Bernhardt was mutually beneficial.  Mucha’s posters immortalised the ‘divine’ image of the actress, consolidating her iconic status. For her part, Bernhardt was so enamoured with Mucha’s work that after 1896 she made use of his designs for all posters advertising her American tours. This promoted Mucha’s work and helped him secure a foothold to explore a new career in the United States after 1904. The bracelet worn by Medea is the prototype of Mucha's Snake Bracelet (Sakai City Collection, Japan) commissioned by Sarah Bernhardt from the jeweller Georges Fouquet.
    9. 9. George Fouquet (French, 1862–1957) jeweled bracelets for Cleopatra, after Alphonse Mucha design Sakai City Cultural Hall, Alphonse Mucha Museum, Japan
    10. 10. 1898Tosca 1899Hamlet
    11. 11. After his success as a poster artist, Mucha began to develop his talents as a designer. By 1900 his design work had expanded to a wide range of objects including everyday domestic utensils, fixtures and sculptures, as well as packaging and interior decoration. He worked regularly with the Parisian jeweller Georges Fouquet, not only designing jewellery but also creating a comprehensive design scheme for his new boutique on the rue Royale (1901).
    12. 12. Mucha believed in the production of beautiful yet practical and affordable objects for ordinary people, and published two design handbooks in the hope that designers would embrace this idea: Documents décoratifs in 1902 and Figures décoratives in 1905.
    13. 13. Plate41 Plate42
    14. 14. Plate39 Plate40
    15. 15. Plate36 Plate38
    16. 16. Mucha had caught the jeweller's attention with the serpent-shaped bracelet worn by Sarah Bernhardt on the Medee poster and agreed to furnish his shop on Rue Royale in Paris. Fouquet and Mucha had worked together on a number of jewellery pieces for Fouquet's stand at the 1900 Exposition Universelle. When the Parisian jeweller decided to move his boutique to the luxurious Rue Royale, he called on Mucha to design all aspects of his shop - both exterior and interior, and the contents including the furniture, light fittings and showcases.   Georges Fouquet (French, 1862– 1957), after Mucha design 'Peacock' Ring (Exhibited at the Paris Exhibition 1900) Stomacher. Gold with ivory and pearls designed by Mucha for Fouquet, for the World's Fair in 1900
    17. 17. George Fouquet and Alphonse Mucha 1900 Official Banquet of the Paris Exhibition 1900: design for the menu featuring a fashionable woman wearing a Mucha-style jewellery
    18. 18. 1901
    19. 19. Beautiful necklace made and designed by Alphonse Mucha as a wedding gift for his wife. Picture taken from Alphonse Mucha life story picture book, published 1999
    20. 20. Elémentsdeparuredetête-Vers1900PetitPalais,Paris Georges Fouquet 1862-1957 Winged Chimera Designed by Alphonse Mucha
    21. 21. A Waterfall pendant by Georges Fouquet. Design by Alphonse Mucha
    22. 22. Georges Fouquet 1862-1957 Ornement de corsage Designed by Alphonse Mucha
    23. 23. Alphonse Mucha & Georges Fouquet - Pendant Metropolitan Museum of Art Alphonse Mucha & Georges Fouquet - Broche 1898
    24. 24. AlphonseMuchaFragranceLampbyLampeBerger 50 korun, 1929 (front). Designed by Alfons Mucha, engraved by Karel Wolf. Collection of Vsevolod Onyshkevych
    25. 25. An opal, enamel and diamond pendant necklace, named “La Nuit”, attributed to Alphonse Mucha, circa 1905 Biscuit Tin by Alphonse Mucha
    26. 26. Brooch ca. 1900
    27. 27. DragonsheadunrealiseddesignforGeorges FouquetJewellery,A.Mucha,Paris,1901 SarahBernhardt,1923 Poster1904
    28. 28. Georges Fouquet | "Spillone Doppio" 1905-1906. Horn, gold, enamel on mesh, diamonds, pearls. (Museum of the Petit Palais, Paris). Design by Alfons Mucha.
    29. 29. Georges Fouquet Byzantine comb 1905 Museum of the Petit Palais, Paris Alfons Mucha, Adolphe Armand Truffier, Princesse lointaine, 1900 Bronze doré, 43,5x30,5 cm Prague, Fondation Mucha
    30. 30. Byzantine Heads (1897)
    31. 31. Sarah Bernhardt, the most fashionable global celebrity of the 19th century, Diadem for La Princesse Lointaine, c. 1895 a splendid crown studded with pearls designed by Alphonse Mucha and executed by René Lalique Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Musée et Bibliothèque de l’Opéra, Paris
    32. 32. SarahBernhardtasLaPrincesseLointaine posterfor'LaPlume'magazine(1897)
    33. 33. 1910
    34. 34. 1895 Poster for Amants Comdie de M. Donnay at the Théâtre de la Renaissance Paris
    35. 35. Princess Hyacinth, 1911 LaPassion,1904. TheatreposterforplaywithmusicbyBach
    36. 36. 1908Poster'LeslieCarter'forMelodramaKassaTheatre
    37. 37. “LaSorcière”,1903 Salammbô 1896
    38. 38. Lamp screen, c. 1920s Tiffany & Mucha Lamp screens were among the fancy goods offered for sale with Tiffany lamps. These decorative screens were attached to a large lamp’s finial by chain and suspended below the shade, shielding the person using the lamp from its bare light bulbs. These leaded-glass screens were available in the shapes of the winged insects that appropriately might hover around Tiffany’s garden of nature-themed lamps. Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) hung a Dragonfly lamp screen from one of the turtleback shades in the living room of his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall.
    39. 39. Sound: Philippe Gaubert - Fantaisie for flute & piano Text and pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi oreanuş