It’s in Prague where I discover “Art Nouveau” in an exhibition of Mucha. I have never heard about Art Nouveau before, so it was totally new for me. Even though in Paris we have for example some subway entrances in this style.
Some hundred years ago, the Art Nouveau style was at its peak. Present in the majority of European countries between 1880 and 1914, the current Art Nouveau promotes equality between the arts and is characterized by its representations to the sinuous lines and marked by feminine, floral and geometric motifs iconography.
Alfons Maria Mucha (1860 – 1939), was born in the town of Ivančice, Moravia (the present Czech Republic). He continues his education through high school in the Moravian capital of Brno Czech. He was a painter and designer, whose illustrations, drawings, pictures and decorations accompanied the Belle Époque and Art Nouveau. He worked in Vienna, Paris and the USA and was renowned in particular for his theatre posters for French actress Sarah Bernhardt. – Committed to a printer, a fantastic chance led him to work on the posters of the next show of the greatest actress of the time. Seduced by the work of the young Czech, she signed an exclusive contract that propels Alphons Mucha in the firmament of artists and decorators. He designed the first postage stamps and bank notes of the independent Czechoslovak state and was a graphic artist and creator of world-famous Art Nouveau posters. A cycle of large canvases inspired by the history of the Slavic peoples entitled The Slav Epic is exhibited in the Veletržní Palace in Prague. On Panská Street you can visit the first museum devoted to his life and work.
Where to see Alfons Mucha’s work in Prague:
Alfons Mucha’s posters –Prague’s Municipal House – Náměstí Republiky 5, Praha 1
The Municipal House visitors thus have a unique opportunity to see almost all of Alfons Mucha’s original posters in one place. This unique collection exhibited in the Municipal House belongs to the tennis player and Czech patriot, Ivan Lendl, who has been collecting these works of art for thirty years. This collection of 122 works will be exhibited together for the very first time. The exhibition is curated by arts historian Karel Srp, focusing on art at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Alfons Mucha and Salvador Dali museum – Praha 1, Staré Město, Staroměstské náměstí
Great little gallery in the centre Old Town Square (Staroměstské Námestí) with a unique atmosphere and architecture. There are three floors of art. Top floor is Mucha, very exciting if you are a Mucha fan. You must see this place when you visit Prague.
The Mucha Museum in Prague – Kaunický palác Panská 7, 110 00 Prague 1
The Mucha Museum (the world´s first Mucha Museum) was created in 1998 by the Mucha Foundation in partnership with COPA sro. It is the only official museum dedicated to Alphons Mucha; all the works in the museum are from the Mucha Trust Collection and the work of the Museum directly supports the work of the Foundation. With a selection of over 100 paintings, charcoal drawings, photographs, lithographs and personal memorabilia provides an exact view into the universe of the artist Second floor hosts a really good collection of Dali.
Mucha is the one who has profoundly influenced the Art Nouveau. His inimitable style is instantly recognizable: theater and idealized woman, inspirations from nature and the world of plants, lines and elegant scrolls, obsessive attention to detail…