Monday, October 26, 2015

Artist of the Week: Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha used position, sensuous curves derived from nature, refined decorative elements and natural colors. The Art Nouveau precepts were used, too, but never at the expense of his vision. Bernhardt signed Alphonse Mucha to a six year contract to design her posters and sets and costumes for her plays. Mucha was an overnight success at the age of 34, after seven years of hard work in Paris. Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations in what came to be known as the Art Nouveau style. Alphonse Mucha's works frequently featured beautiful healthy young women in flowing vaguely Neoclassical looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed haloes behind the women's heads.
 Alphonse Mucha shared a studio with Gauguin for a bit after his first trip to the south seas. Mucha gave impromptu art lessons in the Cremerie and helped start a traditional artists ball, Bal des Quat'z Arts. All the while Alphonse Mucha was formulating his own theories and precepts of what he wanted his art to be. On January 1, 1895, Alphonse Mucha presented his new style to the citizens of Paris. Called upon over the Christmas holidays to created a poster for Sarah Bernhardt's play, Gismonda, (shown here) he put his precepts to the test. The poster was the declaration of his new art. Spurning the bright colors and the more squarish shape of the more popular poster artists, the near life-size design was a sensation. Overnight, Mucha's name became a household word and, though his name is often used synonymously with the new movement in art, he disavowed the connection.

No comments: