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Alphonse Mucha's innovative art style from the 1900s

Mucha's works are connected to the Jugend Stil movement, which was so popular at the time. Fetishly Mucha can be called the patriarch of this style by his design of that beautiful poster for Sarah Bernhardt.

Alphonse Mucha's innovative art style from the 1900s

Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Maria Mucha lived from 24 July 1860 to 14 July 1939. He grew up in the Czech Republic and was a talented Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist known for his unique style. He designed many advertisements, paintings, postcards and illustrations in the design of his time.
Ivančice, Moravia, at that time a region of the Czech Republic.

In 1871 Alphonse Mucha became choir director of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in the city of Brno, where he received his high school education. There he presented his first painting in the field of Baroque art to the public. During the four years of his stay in the city he became friends with Leoš Janáček, one of the greatest Czech composers of his generation. Although his singing skills enabled him to continue his education at the "Brno Třída Kapitána Jaroše 14" Gymnasium in the town of Brno, he continued his studies, and since his childhood painting has been his main hobby. In Moravia he worked together with other decorative painters. In 1879 he moved to Vienna to work for a large theatre design company and at the same time improve his artistic training. When a fire destroyed his employer's business in 1881, he returned to Moravia to earn a living as a freelance decorator and portrait painter. Count Karl Khuen later hired Alphonse Mucha to decorate the Emmahof chateau in Hrušovany with murals. He was so impressed by the work of Alphonse Mucha that he agreed to sponsor Alphonse Mucha's training at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

Alphonse Mucha Art Gallery

In 1887 Alphonse Mucha moved to Paris and continued his studies at the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi. In addition to his studies, he worked on magazines and advertising illustrations. Around Christmas 1894 Alphonse Mucha went to a printing house where he surprisingly made a new advertising poster for a play with Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris. At the Théâtre de la Renaissance on Boulevard Saint Martin and Alphonse Mucha volunteered there to make a lithograph poster within just two weeks. On 1 January 1895, Victorien Sardou published the advertisement for the play Gismonda in the city, which attracted a lot of attention. Bernhardt was so satisfied with the success of this first poster that she signed a six-year contract with Alphonse Mucha.

Buying Alphonse Mucha online

Mucha then made a large number of paintings, posters, advertisements and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewellery, carpets, wallpaper and theatre pieces in the style originally known as the Mucha style. Mucha's work often showed beautiful young women in flowing and vaguely neoclassical robes, often surrounded by sumptuous flowers. In contrast to other contemporary poster makers, he used light pastel colours.

Mucha's style became internationally known at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, where Mucha said, "I think [the universal exhibition] has contributed something to bringing aesthetic values to art and craft". He also decorated the Pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina and collaborated with the Austrian Pavilion. His Art Nouveau style was often imitated.

Alphonse Mucha is now offered by his spiritual and religious art images in many online art galleries.