Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau

Author: Victor Arwas, Jana Brabcova-Orlikova, Anna Dvorak

Alphonse Mucha (1890-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists in Paris at the turn of the century. His sensual female portraits with their elaborate bordersle style Mucha embody the essence of Art Nouveau. The Mucha family and the Mucha Foundation have put together a touring exhibition of Mucha's work, and this is the companion volume. Though numerous works on Mucha have appeared in the past few decades, none have been as exhaustive as this illustrated group of essays by noted European experts. The full-scale treatment covers paintings, decorative panels, pastels, drawings, photographs, jewelry, and advertisements as well as numerous book and magazine illustrations. The essays elucidate Mucha's political activities in Czechoslovakia, which spawned the enormous murals "The Slav Epic"; his association with the actress Sarah Bernhardt; and the impact of American patronage on his later work. This lavish homage may prove to be the most important study of an amazing and prolific artist. This lavishly illustrated book presents the full spectrum of Alphonse Mucha`s works, from his innovative posters and decorative panels to his architectural designs, jewelry, sculpture, photographs, books, and interiors. The authors discuss Mucha`s years in Paris, his iconography of Sarah Bernhardt, his service to the Czech government, his distinctive style that became nearly synonymous with turn-of-the-century French Art Nouveau, and much more.

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