ALPHONSE MUCHA : A PICTURE-MAKER FOR PEOPLE AND A MASTER OF ART NOUVEAU

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From 12 September 2018 to 27 January 2019, the Musée du Luxembourg is displaying an extensive overview of the artist’s work (posters, paintings, photographs, jewellery, items of furniture…)

This exhibition traces the career of Mucha and draws the portrait of a complex artist, driven by a social and philosophical vision.

Musée du Luxembourg

Musée du Luxembourg 19 rue de Vaugirard 75006 Paris – Open every day from Monday to Sunday from 10:30 AM to 7 PM – Start of evacuation of the rooms 15 minutes before closing time of the museum.

Prices: from €9 to €13

In a Nutshell:

  • Alphonse Mucha full name was Alfons Maria Mucha.
  • He was born in the small town of Ivancice in Moravia which was back then a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and which is currently a region of the Czech Republic.
  • In 1887, Mucha moved to Paris, then the European capital of the arts.
  • He received financial support and studied at the « Académie Julian » and then at the « Académie Colarossi ».
  • His allowance was cut off and forced to work, he produced illustrations for books and magazines that began to give him regular income.
  • During these difficult years he became friends with Gauguin to such an extent that they moved together in a building located at 8 rue de la Grande-Chaumière (75006)
  • In 1894, Sarah Bernhards, the greatest actress of the time ordered a new poster to the publishing firm Lemercier for the prolongation of the successful play « Gismonda« .
  • Brunhoff, the manager of the publishing firm designated Mucha to produce the poster.
  • In 1895, the advertisement posters for the play Gismonda were displayed through the city. It was a colossal success and Alphonse Mucha became famous. The « Mucha Style » was born.

What is the Mucha Style?

As a poster artist, Mucha developed a very personal style, the « Mucha style », characterised by sinuous forms mixing young women, floral motifs and ornamental lines, as well as a subtle range of pastel shades. The « Mucha style » became synonymous with Art Nouveau, which was then appearing on the scene.

Musée du Luxembourg

Interesting facts about Mucha

  • Mucha was a mystic, he believed in mysterious forces and felt that art only existed to communicate a spiritual message.
  • Mucha joined the freemasonry.
  • Mucha was a patriot. He has always dreamt of being a history painter. In 1910, he returned to his home country. He concentrated on his project called « The Slave Epic » which is a series of twenty paintings describing major episodes of the Czech history.
  • He was arrested by the Gestapo.
  • He suffered from pneumonia and he died in Prague at the age of 79.

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