Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kickin' It Ol' Skool...Alphonse Mucha

Today, I'd like to give props to the Father of the Art Noveaux Movement, Alphonse Mucha (Pronounced Moo-Hah).
He was born on July 24, 1860 in Ivancice, Moravia and art was a hobby for him, but that began to change when he moved to Vienna in 1879. The theartical design company he worked for burned down, Mucha started doing freelance artwork and was discovered by Count Karl Khuen of Mikulov and hired to do murals in his castle.

The Count was so impressed with Mucha's work, he became his patron and sent him to Munich to attend the Munich Academy of Fine Art for formal art training. Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, continuing his schooling and working freelance. On Christmas 1894, He went into a print shop where it just so happened, that the Sarah Bernhardt led show, "Gismonda" at the Theatre de la Resistance needed a poster for the show. Mucha volunteered to make a lithograph within two weeks. On Jan 1, 1895, the poster was very popular and earned him a six-year contract with Sarah Bernhardt.

From there, he gained fame and notoriety through his many posters, book illustrations, jewelry designs and the like. Mucha's printed masterpiece was a seiries of illustrations about the themes of the Lord's Prayer called Le Pater.  Another of his major artistic works was the Slav Epic, a series of painting chronicling the history of the Slavic People.

Detail from Le Pater

Detail from Le Pater

Detail from Le Pater

Detail from Le Pater

A scene from the Slav Epic

Scene from the Slav Epic

Alphonse Mucha died in 1939 due to complications from pneumonia contracted when the German Army occupied Czechoslovakia and he was arrested and questioned by the Gestapo.

Apothiosis of the Slavs


Other various works by Mucha

Mucha's work has inspired and influenced many artists like Joe Quesada, Mark Brooks, John Baizley,
Naoko Takeuchi, Masakazsu Katsura and many others.

Joe Quesada

Mark Brooks

Masakazu Katsura

Naoko Takeuchi

There is a museum dedicated to Mucha in Prauge and a website called Mucha Foundation.org where there is more information and plenty of images of his work.


  1. Great post! It's a nice feeling when one of your most favorite artists is from your own country.
    Altough, it's "Czechoslovakia" :)

  2. Thanks for reading and for the correction! (Don't know how I missed that.)