| || |
Edited by Tomoko Sato.
Mucha as mystic, bohemian and philosopher
Spanning the entirety of Alphonse Mucha’s prolific career, this handsome, affordable and concise overview examines the beloved artist’s oeuvre—from posters, jewelry, interior decoration, theater and product design to painting, book illustration, sculpture and photography—across six themed sections that highlight the artist’s personality: “A Bohemian in Paris”; “A Picture-Maker for People”; “A Cosmopolitan”; “The Mystic”; “The Patriot”; and “The Artist-Philosopher.”
Mucha rose to fame in fin-de-siècle Paris with his elegant theater posters for Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous French actress of the time, and his decorative panels featuring gracefully posed women. For these posters, Mucha created a distinctive style characterized by harmonious compositions, sinuous forms and a muted palette, which became synonymous with the newly emerging decorative style of the time—Art Nouveau. By the time of the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900, Mucha had become a leading figure in this decorative-art movement, and he defined the look of the era. The catalog explores the development of Mucha’s career and overall achievements as a multifaceted and visionary artist.
Czech painter Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) leapt to fame in 1895, in Paris, when his poster “Gismonda,” created for the superstar Sarah Bernhardt, heralded the birth of “Le Style Mucha.” Between 1903 and 1922 Mucha made four trips to the United States, where he attracted the patronage of Charles Richard Crane, a Chicago industrialist and Slavophile, who subsidized Mucha’s epic series of 20 large historical paintings illustrating the “Epic of the Slavic People” (1912–30). After 1922 Mucha lived in Czechoslovakia, where he died in 1939.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Alphonse Mucha.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Mucha’s version of Art Nouveau is a pre-modern graphic art that looks post-modern as it bends the mind towards the incomprehensible: a vantage point, at the time, from which to start to breakout of a Renaissance perspective position towards a more supple non-Euclidean modern awareness.
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.
FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/19/2018
This 1896 lithograph, "Zodiac," is reproduced from Alphonse Mucha, Skira's handsome new overview of the beloved fin-de-siècle Czech artist and designer whose work virtually defines the Art Nouveau style. It is one of more than 250 works—including paintings, photographs, illustrations, posters, sculptural works, jewelry, products, interiors, and theater designs—that tell the artist's cosmopolitan-Bohemian life story in a visual language meant to express beauty. "Art is the expression of innermost feelings," Mucha said, "a spiritual need." continue to blog
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/20/2018
Belle Époque Czech artist Alphonse Mucha began to draw before he could even walk, using a pencil his mother would tie around his neck so that he could access it while crawling around her kitchen floor. Later, his theater posters for Sarah Bernhardt were so popular—and so ubiquitous—throughout his adopted home city of Paris that a whole new Art Nouveau style, le style Mucha, was born. In 1904, the New York Daily News even called him the "greatest decorative artist in the world." Yet Mucha was also a philosopher, a pacifist and a dreamer who was among the first to be arrested by the Gestapo when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. Though they are less well known than his most iconic fin-de-siècle posters and paintings, many of his later works express humanitarian concerns, and speak out against the threats of war in a rapidly changing world. For example, "Woman Watching a Burning Candle" (1933). continue to blog