Let’s journey back in time to late 19th - early 20th century Europe, to a period in European art called art nouveau. This is the time when art regained its childish playfulness, and paintings once again became bright-colored, adorned with flowers and gold, and almost cartoon-like. One of the most prominent figures of this period is Czech painter Alphonse Mucha, whose paintings demonstrate like no other the cheerful and unapologetically beautiful art nouveau style.
Four Seasons 1
Four Seasons 2
The two series of decorative panels you’ve seen above are one of the earliest, but also one of the most well-known works of the painter. They depict the fours seasons in the form of beautiful women. Decorative panels were wall paintings used as decorations in wealthy private homes, so you can tell that these series are quite massive, around 2 m tall.
The Arts - Dance (1898)
Biscuits Lefevre Utile (1896)
Apart from creating wall panel paintings and being commissioned for portraits of wealthy women, Mucha also did a lot of book illustrations, theater posters, postcards, calendars and even menus, some of which you will see below.
Chansons d'aieules (1898)
Femme Au Carton A Dessins (1898)
After becoming a world-renowned painter and traveling the world in search of his identity, Mucha returns to Prague in 1910 and begins his life work: a series called the Slav Epic (one of which you can see below, and another one at the end of the article).
These paintings are dedicated to the history of the Slavic people. He presents his monumental works to the city of Prague.
The Slav Epic cycle No.2: The Celebration of Svantovít (1912)
Stained glass window by in St. Vitus Cathedral
Benedictine, a postcard
Reverie, poster for the publishing house Champenois (1897)
Engulfed in the Slavic theme, he produces illustrates several books, like the one you will see further. He was also commissioned to design the stained-glass windows in the St.Vitus Cathedral in Prague, a photo of which was presented above.
In history, Mucha will forever be memorized as a very influential artist, who inspired generations and generations of modern artists and had a very unique and beautiful style.
Monaco Monte Carlo Postcard
The Slavs in their original homeland, cycle no.1 (1912)