Thursday, May 19, 2016

Alphonse Mucha: 1860-1939: The Artist as Visionary, by Tomoko Sato. Taschen

 Alphonse Mucha is, to me, one of the greats of Art Nouveau. His posters have been widely reproduced (especially the one for Job rolling papers!) and his sets of lithographs, like the ones of the seasons and the flower ones, show up a lot. They are all beautiful; both the beautiful women with their hair in curling tendrils, usually with large flowers decorating it, and the backgrounds and frames with all their stars and patterns and jewels and flowers…they have always enchanted me. His work was hugely popular in his time; it was used not just as posters but in magazine illustration and on postcards.

What I was not really aware of was his ‘serious’ work, inspired by his Slavic heritage. Most of this is much darker in both spirit and palette. He honored Slavic history and hoped mightily for Slavic independence and unity. Sadly, he was to die just days after Nazi’s marched into the area and he was arrested and questioned as a Czech patriot.

This book is brief, but gives a good overview of Mucha’s life and work, and is filled with beautiful reproductions of all phases of his work. 

The above is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy something from Amazon- anything- they will give me a few cents. 

This did not influence my review.  


  1. Laurie, have you seen the documentary series "Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau"? Our local PBS station has been broadcasting it.

    1. No, I'd not heard of it! but it appears to be available on DVD, which hopefully means my library can borrow it. Another thing to add to my list! Thanks!