The Czech illustrator, graphic designer, painter and interior decorator Alphonse Mucha is one of the best-known representatives of the early 20th-century Art Nouveau movement and the Belle Epoque.
For the 150th anniversary of his birth, the Musée du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Museum) held an exhibition of his paintings, drawings, posters, photographs, items of furniture, and memorabilia, from 12 September 2018 to 27 January 2019.
Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was born in Ivancice. His first lithographic poster was for the actress Sarah Bernhardt. He became known for his posters that combined young women with floral motifs, ornamental lines, and pastel colours. This style came to embody the era’s emerging movement in the decorative arts, Art Nouveu.
Mucha was also a sculptor, photographer, decorator, and teacher. He produced political and war artworks, as well as works depicting his Slavic roots.
He arrived in Paris in 1887 at the age of 27 and studied at the Academie Julian and the Academie Colarossi until his funder – Count Eduard Khuen-Belasi – cut off his allowance. To make money, he illustrated books and magazines. During this time, he met painter Paul Gauguin.
In 1910, he returned to his homeland to work, focusing on The Slav Epic project. He died of pneumonia in Prague on 14 July 1939, ten days after his 79th birthday.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls