• 13 Sep 2018

The Musée du Luxembourg in Paris hosts, from September 12th 2018 to January 27th 2019, an exhibition dedicated to the Czech icon Aflons Mucha. Art-Trope attended the opening and offers you a glimpse.

Sumer allegory by Alfons Mucha

Summer, 1896 © Alfons Mucha

Birth of a Czech icon

Alfons Mucha was born in 1860 in the city of Ivanice in Moravia which is now the Czech Republic. He made his first works in the Decorative Arts, mainly for theatrical world. In the 1880s he settled in Paris where he took classes at the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi while creating advertisement drawings for magazines. In 1894, he volunteered to design the poster of the play starring famous actress Sarah Bernhardt at the Théâtre de la Renaissance. In two weeks, the Artist produced a poster that startled Paris. The actress was so impressed that she signed a 6 years contract with the Artist. Alfons Mucha’s unique style, representing thin and juvenile women with a hint of Neoclassicism, spread all over the world through the 1900 Universal Exhibition. Nonetheless, the Artist tried, for the rest of his life, to distance himself from this style.

The Slav Epic: Alfons Mucha’s master piece

According to Alfons Mucha, Art only is a means of expression the send a spiritual message. He considered his artistic statement as deeply Czech. The Slav Epic is a series of 20 gigantic paintings representing the story of the Slav people. Exhibited in Praha since 1928, it shows the Artist’s will to stand for an artistic style born from the Slav world. Such a celebration of the history of his country is a dream that the Artist had at a very young age. Such colossal projects were essential to the Artist who thought that commercial success tended to constrain his pictorial style.

Part of the Slav Epic by Alfons Mucha

Slavs in their Original Homeland, Slav Epic 1912 © Alfons Mucha

The dedicated exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris

From September 12th 2018 to January 27th 2019, the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris presents the Alfons Mucha exhibition. Art-Trope took you to the exhibition opening live from the Social Media. Following the story of the Artist, the exhibition opens with the essential relationship between Aflons Mucha and famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. His style explosion is visible throughout the many posters created for shows and Universal Exhibitions. Then, the exhibition shows a different aspect of the Artist who distances himself from his commercial success. His work with goldsmith and jeweler Georges Fouquet is put in the spotlight. Indeed, the fruitful collaboration originated the most beautiful collections of 20th century Art Nouveau’s jewelries. Finally, the exhibition concludes in the tight relation between Alfons Mucha and mysticism including the Franc Maçonnerie. The many presented allegories are of an exceptional beauty.

Artwork by Alfons Mucha

Virgin with lilies, 1905 © Alfons Mucha

 

Read our portrait of an Art-Trope Painter : Francesca Ricardoni here.

Sources: Mucha Foundation, Réseau des Musées Nationaux (RMN)