Travel diaries

The Mucha Museum in Prague

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Alphonse Mucha He was born in the Czech Republic in the mid-19th century. Your name may not sound like anything, but surely hundreds of posters and decorative boxes inspired by their designs will. This Czech artist was one of the greatest exponents of the movement called Art nouveau which is, together with the Byzantine style, one of the styles that I like the most. Alphonse Mucha completed his training as an illustrator in Brno, Vienna and Munich, where he began working in the field of theater design. However, he did not become really famous until he moved to Paris to finish his studies, since he was then commissioned a poster for the play Gismonda, starring a great actress of the time: Sarah Bernhardt.

This poster was so shocking and he liked it so much, that people ripped it off the walls to take it home. Sarah Bernhardt herself was so satisfied with the work that she made a contract for Mucha to design exclusively the posters of her works, as well as the scenography of them for six years. During that period, Alphonse Mucha designed the posters of the works The Lady of the Camellias, Lorenzaccio, The Samaritan woman, Medea, Hamlet and Rough.

In full swing of Art Noveau and his fame, he designed from cookie boxes and champagne ads, to decorative panels in which female figures with floral motifs, jewelry and furniture stand out. After passing through the United States, in 1910 he returned to his homeland to settle in Prague, where he would die in 1939. In this city he works on different projects, such as a stained glass window in the cathedral and in the design of various buildings. And when the Czech Republic became independent, it designed the tickets and postage stamps of the new country. At that time he also dedicated himself to work on his masterpiece, called Slavic epic, a series of huge paintings that detail the history of the Slavic peoples.

To preserve its artistic legacy, in 1998 the Mucha Museum, one of my favorite museums, was inaugurated in Prague. Here you can see posters of his Parisian stage and sketches, as well as numerous decorative panels from that period. You can also see some of the works and murals that make up the Slavic epic. The exhibition includes a thirty-minute documentary that tells his biography and a replica of his studio in Paris.

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