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Alphonse Maria Mucha (24 july 1860-14 july 1939)

Art Nouveau illustrator and painter noted for his posters of idealized female figures.

He was born in Ivančiče, Moravia (former Austrian Empire, today´s region of Czech Republic). Mucha studied art in Prague, Munich and Paris in the 1880s. He first became prominent as the principal as the principal advertiser of the french actress Sarah Bernhardt. Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewellery, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was initially called the „Mucha Style“ but became known as Art Nouveau (french word for New Art). One of his master works, he spent many years working on, is The Slav Epic, series of twenty huge painting depicting the history of the Czech and Slavic people in general. He died of pneumonia after an interrogation by Gestapo.

Selected works:

Sarah Bernhardt (1896) (Color litograph)
sarah_bernhardt

La Dame aux Camélias (1896) (Color litograph)
la-dame-aux-camelias

Le Pater (1899) (Color litograph)
Le Pater

The Slav Epic (1928) (Color litograph)
The Slav Epic