Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau
Some of the loveliest high art nouveau art works were painted by the Czechoslovakian artist Alphons Mucha. Mucha was born in 1860 and lived until 1939 . He lived and worked in Vienna and Paris and had a theatrical design background.
In 1895, he happened to be in the right place at the right time to be invited to design a poster advertising a new Sarah Bernhardt play. The poster was such a success and so influential that it started the fashion for the Art Nouveau style. Mucha’s career took off . In addition to his paintings the designs were use for jewellery and household articles such as wallpaper and carpets as well . Some designs were used on postcards and others on things like soap boxes. Most of the works you see here were completed by 191o when he returned to Prague and started on some of his more serious and Epic works.
This time scale exactly fits with Art Nouveau, perhaps he moved on when the fashion for it started to fade. Or did the fashion fade when he gave it up?
Here are some of my favourite Mucha paintings. I hope you can see some characteristics of Art Nouveau style in them – flowing curves, lovely ladies, tendrils and flowers.
Of course not all of his works featured lovely ladies, some were religious and other representing historical figures. He considered that his “Slav Epic ” was his finest work but its certainly not his prettiest. The popularity of Mucha comes and goes with the fashion for art nouveau. There was a revival in the 1970s for example and just think of his influence on 1960s psychedelic.
Where to see Mucha works. The very best place to get an overview of his work is on the internet where a quick search will let you see some of the finest examples. In real life there is a Mucha museum in Prague with over 100 exhibits.
With Thanks to Wikipedia – I could not have written this without you