Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mucha, Alphonse Maria

Jaroslava and Jiri - The Artist's Children
oil on canvas
82.8 x 82.8 cm
Mucha Museum, Prague, Czech Republic

Alfons Maria Mucha (1860 - 1939), known in English as Alphonse Mucha, was born in the town of Moravia, then part of Austro-Hungary. His father was a court usher, and the family had but modest means. The future painter was raised in an atmosphere of strict Roman Catholicism, and this would later be reflected in the symbolism he employed in his work. He joined the choir at St. Peter's Cathedral and pursued singing seriously for a while, but was forced to abandon it after his voice started cracking.

He was a prolific painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He is more than anyone else responsible for the Art Nouveau Style and applied his considerable talents to a wide variety of pursuits ranging from painting and sculpture to poster, magazine, and calendar illustration, and product and architectural design. His style of painting influenced an entire generation of painters, graphic artists, draughtsmen and designers and in the minds of many.