Obraz by Alphonse Mucha



Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was born in the city of Ivan_ice of Moravia, a historical county in what is now the Czech Republic. He developed a very distinct style of art during what is now called the 'art nouveau' (modern art) period of roughly 1890-1910, producing many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards and designs. As a child and a young man Mucha actually possessed a good talent for singing, which allowed him to continue his education in Brno, the capital of Moravia. Drawing, though it had been a lifelong hobby, didn't take center-stage at this time of his life. After graduating high school, he moved to Vienna and worked for a theatrical design company, but also took lessons to improve his artistic abilities. The design company unfortunately burned down in 1881 and the employer's business folded as a result, prompting Mucha to return to Moravia. Working as a freelance artist, he was hired by Count Karl Khuen of Mikulov to decorate Hrušovany Emmahof Castle, and did such fantastic work with the murals that the Count sponsored Mucha's formal artistic training in Munich. After his training in Munich, Mucha would later move on to Paris, in 1887, where he won a six-year contract with the famous Parisian acress Sarah Bernhardt. His business exploded during this time period, and his unique style, which often featured beautiful young women in flowing dresses of the Neoclassical style, surrounded by lush flowers, became known as the Art Nouveau style. Eventually, his style would receive international exposure at the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris. Mucha married Maruška Chytilová on June 10, 1906, in Praque, and afterwards visited the USA for four years, during which time period their daughter Jaroslava was born. Their son, Ji_í, was born on March 12, 1915, in Prague, where Mucha worked for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, he still lived in Czechoslovakia when the Nazis took control, and he was one of the first taken prisoner by the Gestapo, on account of his slavic heritage. Though he did not die during interrogations or in any camps, he contracted pneumonia during this time, and died in 1939 due to a lung infection. Though popular during his prime, Mucha's work was considered outdated by the time of his death, and 'The Slav Epic,' his masterpiece work consisting of 20 giant paintings, was rolled up and kept in storage for many decades. However, there was a revival of his style in the 1960s, and his work also went out of copyright in 2010, entering the public domain.



Includes a border on all sides to allow for matting and framing.