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Alphonse Mucha by Sandra Forty
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Alphonse Mucha

by Sandra Forty

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It took me over seven years to find a Mucha book that had the right balance of history and photos. The book begins with Mucha’s history, much of which I had learned while visiting Prague in 2007. Like most artist, he struggled at his beginnings until an opportunistic “I didn’t go on vacation” over the Christmas of 1894 left him as the only artist available to draw for Sarah Bernhardt’s “Gismonda” theater poster in Paris. It marked the beginning of a new era where his “stunning tall, narrow, near-life-size poster in unusually muted colors” marked the beginning of the then-developing Art Nouveau style. He experienced great commercial success with his multitude of commissions at the turn of the century – “advertisements, book illustrations and jackets, magazine covers, paintings, interior decorations, jewelry, wallpaper, and of course, posters”. He had a huge passion for his home country, the now Czech Republic, and his most lofty goal was to be a historic painter telling the story of his land. His “Slav Epic” canvases are now on display in the castle at Moravsky Krumlov.

In this large format book, Mucha’s art has the right canvas to present its beauty, especially his series of decorative panels (mostly in groupings of four) which are tall in height along with the breakthrough posters of Sarah Bernhardt. His history is concisely shared in 14 pages, and the rest are dedicated to his art. I have always had a huge passion for his “Four Times of Day”. In this book, I was particularly drawn to “Music”, one of the “Four Arts” panels. Her playful expression, the attentive eyes, the long luscious brown hair, the perky, dainty breasts with slightly erect nipples, the flowing white gown – it is simply beauty at its best. I particularly enjoy the beauty of the women in his art. Many have rounded faces, some with a slight double chin. Her figure is full, with slight lumps and pumps along arms, backs, and sides just like a real woman. This art reflects true beauty; a beauty lost in today’s measures. Enjoy! ( )
1 vote varwenea | Jan 11, 2015 |
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