113. Alphonse Maria Mucha
Alphonse Maria Mucha
(Moravia 1860 – Prague 1939)
Zdeňka Černý (1913)
Signed and dated 1913 in the plate lower left
Printed by V. Neubert Smichor, Prague
Lithograph in colours on wove paper, 104.2 x 104.8 cm (plate size)
J. Rennert & A. Weill, Alphonse Mucha. Toutes les affiches et panneaux, Henri Veyrier, 1984, p. 102
Alphonse Mucha was a Czech painter, illustrator, and graphic artist, best known for his distinctly stylized and decorative theatrical posters. He produced illustrations, advertisements, decorative panels, and designs, which became among the best-known images of the period.
In 1887, Mucha moved to Paris, where he started to become world renowned due to his commercial work. He was convinced that art could enhance the quality of life and should therefore be accessible to all. Mucha’s illustrations of elegant women surrounded by stylized flowers and flamboyant swirling lines gave colour to the city of Paris, where anyone could enjoy Mucha’s posters in the street. Le style Mucha became almost synonymous with Art Nouveau, the modern art movement that came to define the look of the French capital.
This work is an original Art Nouveau poster with the portrait of Zdenka Cerny, a talented musician. Mucha befriended her family when he gave a series of lectures at the Chicago Art Institute. Mucha painted a portrait of her, which became the basis for this poster. It was created for Zdenka’s European tour of 1914-1915, which was unfortunately cancelled due to the war.