Sunday, 18 March 2012

Art Nouveau by Alfons Mucha

Alfons Maria Mucha 24 July 1860 – 14 July 1939, was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs. 
I posted this subject on Google Plus Dec 21, 2011 Post

Masterworks by Alfons Mucha  (detail)

Alphonse Maria Mucha was born in the town of Ivančice, Moravia (the present Czech Republic). Although his singing abilities allowed him to continue his education through high school in the Moravian capital of Brno, drawing had been his main hobby since childhood. He worked at decorative painting jobs in Moravia, mostly painting theatrical scenery. In 1879, he relocated to Vienna to work for a major Viennese theatrical design company, while informally augmenting his artistic education. When a fire destroyed his employer's business during 1881 he returned to Moravia, to do freelance decorative and portrait painting. 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.

Alfons Mucha - 1898 - Dance

Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, and continued his studies at Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi. In addition to his studies, he worked at producing magazine and advertising illustrations. About Christmas 1894, Mucha happened to go 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, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance on the Boulevard Saint-Martin. 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. Bernhardt was so satisfied with the success of this first poster that she began a six-year contract with Mucha.

Moët & Chandon by Alfons 

Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewelry, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was termed initially the Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau (French for 'new art'). Mucha's works frequently featured beautiful young women in flowing, vaguely Neoclassical-looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed halos behind their heads. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors. The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris spread the "Mucha style" internationally, of which Mucha said "I think [the Exposition Universelle] made some contribution toward bringing aesthetic values into arts and crafts." He decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Pavilion and collaborated with decorating the Austrian Pavilion. His Art Nouveau style was often imitated. The Art Nouveau style however, was one that Mucha attempted to disassociate himself from throughout his life; he always insisted that rather than maintaining any fashionable stylistic form, his paintings were entirely a product of himself and Czech art. He declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message, and nothing more; hence his frustration at the fame he gained by his commercial art, when he most wanted to concentrate on more artistic projects. Source: Wikipedia

He used the same base for a number of posters, by modifying color and details he made them look different. Look at the details!

La plume - Zodiac - Alfons Mucha

Savons de Toilette - Alfons Mucha

Zodiac - Alfons Mucha (detail)

Les Arts, 1898 - La Musique bu Alphonse Maria Mucha

Ivi by Alphonse Maria Mucha

Salon des Cent by Alphonse Mucha 1896

Art Nouveau by Alfons Mucha 

Art Nouveau by Alfons Mucha 

Four Seasons by Alfons Mucha, circa 1895

Job by Alfons Mucha 1996

Dawn by Alfons Mucha

Dusk by Alfons Mucha 1899

Masterworks by Alfons Mucha

Alfons Mucha 1906

Source Photots: Wikipedia  and Vintage et Cancrelats 


  1. Great post. The dark background really helps the accentuate the colors. Harder to do in a real museum. :)

  2. I noticed that too. My other blog is white and grey. I like the back better. I gave it some color, but I'm not sure I like it the way it is now.

  3. You've got a great collection of his paintings, and I've pinned most of it from your post.