Sunday, December 9, 2012

Women by Czech artist Alphonse Maria Mucha 1860-1939


Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) The Red Cape 1902

Although this artist is famous for his highly stylized Art Nouveau illustrations, I am more attracted to a few of his powerful winter paintings & to his personal family portraits.


Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) Marushka, The Artist's Wife 1905

Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860-1939) was a Czech painter & decorative artist, best known for his distinct style & his images of women. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, & designs.


Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) Girl with Loose Hair and Tulips 1920

Mucha studied in France & was in America from 1906-1910.


Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) Christmas in America 1906

Mucha spent many years working on what he considered his life's fine art masterpiece, The Slav Epic (Slovanská epopej), a series of twenty huge paintings depicting the history of the Czech & Slavic people in general, which he bestowed to the city of Prague in 1928.


Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) Winter Night 1920


The rising tide of fascism in the late 1930s led to Mucha's works, as well as his Slavic nationalism, being denounced in the press as "reactionary."


Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) Woman with a Burning Candle 1933


When German troops marched into Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1939, Mucha was among the first persons to be arrested by the Gestapo. During the course of his interrogation, the aging artist fell ill with pneumonia.


Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) Jaroslava and Jiri, The Artist's Children 1919


Though eventually released, he never recovered from this event or from seeing his homeland invaded & overcome. He died in Prague on 14 July 1939, of a lung infection.



Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech artist, 1860-1939) Self Portrait

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