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What a triumph legacy Alfons Maria Mucha left.
Mucha fort to keep his education by singing, he painted theatrical scenes to keep hold of his artistic talent; a fire destroyed his place of employment. Finally in his 20’s he gets a gig to paint murals in a castle! Leading to a sponsorship to Munich Academy of Fine Arts.
From being arrested and interrogated by the German troops, to his artworks being rolled up and locked away for 25 years, the Mucha Style impacted the world of design.
Mucha moved to Paris in 1887 and worked at producing magazine and advertising illustrations.
1894, Mucha happened to venture into a print shop where there was a need for a new advertising poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris. January 1895, the advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou was posted in the city, where it attracted much attention. Bernhardt overwhelmed with the success of this first poster that she began a six-year contract with Mucha.
He declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message, and nothing more; hence his frustration at the fame he gained by his commercial art, when he most wanted to concentrate on more artistic projects.
Mucha (AKA in English) Alphonse Mucha, was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, posters, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs, as well as designs for jewelry, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was termed initially the Mucha Style.
The Mucha Style featured beautiful young women in flowing robes, often surrounded by lush flowers, which sometimes formed halos behind their heads using pale pastel colors.
In his design the image of a woman was used strategically as a medium for communication, first to draw potential consumers’ attention with her feminine beauty and then to send an alluring message about the product she was representing.
Mucha made two advertising posters for Job cigarette papers, both of which feature a woman holding a cigarette whose smoke winds round her head. In both posters Mucha places the central female figure against a background featuring Job monograms.
Mucha’s posters reflect the rich texture of modern life in fin-de-siècle Paris. The subjects range from cultural events and railway services to diverse consumer products such as perfume, cigarette paper, beer, champagne, chocolate and biscuits, as well as bicycles.