Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mucha, Alphonse Maria

31 x 41 cm (12.2" x 16.14")
Private collection

Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860 - 1939, Czechoslovakia) was a prominent figure of the Art Nouveau Movement. Although most famous for his posters and paintings, Mucha worked in a variety of media, including jewelry, textiles, furniture, sculpture, and stage sets.

He worked on his most famous work, The Slav Epic, which consisted of 20 paintings that featured major points in Czech history and of other Slavic countries.
In 1938, Czechoslovakia was taken over by Nazi Germany and, in 1939, since the suppression of nationalism was high on the agenda of the conquerors, Mucha, with his history of patriotism and Pan-Slavism, was arrested and incarcerated by the Gestapo at the onset of World War II. During his interrogation, he became ill with pneumonia. Though released eventually, he died in Prague on 14 July 1939, of a lung infection.
His son, author, devoted much of his life to writing about him and bringing attention to his art.
Interest in Mucha's distinctive style experienced a strong revival in the 1960's with a general interest in Art Nouveau.