ALPHONSE MARIA MUCHA, July 24, 1860 – July 14, 1939, a czech artist who studied in paris and munich, produced an immense amount of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewellery, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was initially called the MUCHA STYLE but became known as ART NOUVEAU ( new art ). MUCHA’S works frequently featured beautiful young women in flowing vaguely neoclassical looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed haloes behind the women’s heads. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors. the ART NOUVEAU style however, was one that MUCHA attempted to distance himself from throughout his life. he always insisted that rather than adhering to any fashionable stylistic form, his paintings came purely from within and czech art. he declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message, and nothing more.
Mucha Alphonse as noble and spiritual as Joan of Arc, yet sensually provocative and appealing a dream-like seductress stands resting her hand on a bottle of liqueur, La Trappistine. The round decoration surrounding her head like a halo gives this temptress an almost divine appearance of rare beauty. Delineated in gated, curvilinear strokes and coloured in pale, watery tones, this advertising poster is an example of the stylish of Art Nouveau, of which Mucha was one of the chief exponents. The artists of the Art style attempted to blend all categories of art into a decorative unity based on graceful, elegant linear forms. Mucha was largely responsible for popularizing many of the style's key motifs, such as undulations of flowing hair and flowers on slender twining stems. A prolific graphic artist, Mucha also designed jewellery, stained glass, furniture, stage sets and costumes. He spent much of his career in Paris, but returned to his native Czechoslovakia in 1910.
THE SEASONS, 1896, was Mucha's first set of decorative panels and it became one of his most popular series. it was so popular that he was asked to produce at least two more sets based on the same theme in 1897 and 1900. designs for a further two more sets also exist. the idea of personifying the seasons was nothing new – examples could be found in the works of the old masters as well as in other publications at that time. however, MUCHA’S nymph-like women set against the seasonal countryside background breathed new life into the classic theme, MUCHA captures the mood of the seasons – innocent spring, sultry summer, fruitful autumn and frosty winter.
Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty will open on the 8 October 2016 at the at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Following on from very successful exhibitions at the Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth and the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is the third venue in our UK tour.
Objects from Glasgow Museums' collection have been carefully selected to accompany the artworks by Mucha. Paintings and posters by artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Duncan, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his Glasgow Style contemporaries demonstrate the interchange of artistic ideas between Scotland, the rest of the UK, and continental Europe.
Artistic links to the artists like Klimt, Moreau, Munch, Toulouse-Lautrec.
1. The Art Book, new edition 2012, Phaeton Press Limited, London