1140 Penzing


Pages: 20 + cover
Edition: 5 + artists copy (first edition)


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Alfons-Mucha-Weg (14), named on February 14, 1977 after the painter, poster artist, graphic artist, illustrator and amateur photographer Alfons Maria Mucha (* July 24, 1860 Eibenschütz, Moravia [Ivančice, Czech Republic], † July 14, 1939 Prague). After school, Alfons Mucha worked for some time as an office clerk and began his artistic career as a self-taught. He was employed in the Atelier Kautsky-Brioschi-Burghart in Vienna and entrusted with stage paintings, primarily for the Ringtheater. After the fire in 1881, Mucha, the youngest employee, was dismissed. He kept himself afloat with drawings and portraits until he was commissioned in 1882 to furnish the interior of the neo-baroque Emin zámek (Emmahof) palace in Moravia, which was built for Count Eduard Khuen von Belasy. He carried out other paintings in the Gandegg family palace of the Khuen-Belasy family near Eppan in South Tyrol. He studied with the support of the Afel family from 1885 to 1887 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 1889 Mucha moved to Paris. There he lived on a small scale, took lessons from various teachers and kept his head above water with book illustrations. Mucha’s breakthrough came with a casual job for the then best-known western actress, Sarah Bernhardt. In December 1894 she was looking for a person who could design the poster for the play “Gismonda”. Mucha got the contract and his posters, which would make him famous all over the world, were hanging all over Paris. The poster that Mucha designed for Bernhardt as a “lady of the camellias” is often regarded as a high point of Art Nouveau poster art. During this time, Mucha also drafted stock and bond documents and insurance policies. In 1897, in just a few months, Mucha’s most important illustration work and thus one of the most important works of Art Nouveau book illustration, the 134 color lithographs for Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli, a French fairy tale by Robert de Flers, published by Piazza Verlag.

In 1904 Mucha went to the USA for two years and taught there as a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. In 1906 he married Marie Chytilová in Prague, whom he had met in Paris. After the First World War, its success waned. Mucha went back to Czechoslovakia, where he continued to work as an artist. In his later phase, Mucha finally broke away from Art Nouveau and from 1911 to 1928 created a monumental epic about the history of the Slavic peoples, the Slavic Epic, a cycle of 20 huge paintings, which he donated to the city of Prague after completion. Financially independent, he lived with his wife and two children in a castle north of Prague. Mucha was one of the first to be interned after the German troops marched in in 1939. He died shortly afterwards of complications from pneumonia.