From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"He meant in America, for these two art workers considered themselves connoisseurs of pen and ink and illustration generally. They were subscribers to Jugend, Simplicissimus, Pick-Me-Up and the radical European art journals. They were aware of Steinlen and Cheret and Mucha and the whole rising young school of French poster workers."--The "Genius" (1915) by Theodore Dreiser
Alphonse Mucha(1860 – 1939) was a Czech painter, illustrator, and graphic artist, living in Paris during the Art Nouveau period, best known for his distinctly stylized and decorative theatrical posters, particularly those of Sarah Bernhardt. He produced illustrations, advertisements, decorative panels, and designs, which became among the best-known images of the period.
In the second part of his career, at the age of 50, he returned to his homeland of Bohemia region in Austria and devoted himself to painting a series of twenty monumental canvases known as The Slav Epic, depicting the history of all the Slavic peoples of the world, which he painted between 1912 and 1926. In 1928, on the 10th anniversary of the independence of Czechoslovakia, he presented the series to the Czech nation. He considered it his most important work. It is now on display in Prague.
By the time of his death, Mucha's style was considered outdated. However, his son, author Jiří Mucha, devoted much of his life to writing about him and bringing attention to his art. Interest in Mucha's distinctive style experienced a strong revival in the 1960s (with a general interest in Art Nouveau) and is particularly evident in the psychedelic posters of Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, the collective name for two British artists, Michael English and Nigel Waymouth, who designed posters for groups such as Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band. It has continued to experience periodic revivals of interest for illustrators and artists. It is a strong acknowledged influence for Stuckist painter Paul Harvey whose subjects have included Madonna and whose work was used to promote The Stuckists Punk Victorian show in 2004.
One of Mucha's paintings, Quo Vadis or alternately Petronius and Eunice, was the subject of a legal dispute in 1986. The judgment handed down by Richard Posner describes parts of Mucha's life and work biographically.
Among his many other accomplishments, Mucha was also the founder of Czech Freemasonry.
List of photos
- Black Lady by Alfons Mucha
- Nude study for a poster for Medea
- Art Nouveau posters and graphic arts
- List of works by Alphonse Mucha
- Les Maîtres de l'Affiche
- Salon des Cent
- Commercial art
- Decorative arts
- Art Nouveau