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Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists working in Paris at the turn of the century. His distinctive and original posters and his decorative panels in le style Mucha became almost synonymous with French Art Nouveau. The admirer and iconographer of Sarah Bernhardt, he was also well known as the creator of familiar advertisements and as a Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists working in Paris at the turn of the century. His distinctive and original posters and his decorative panels in le style Mucha became almost synonymous with French Art Nouveau. The admirer and iconographer of Sarah Bernhardt, he was also well known as the creator of familiar advertisements and as a book illustrator. Yet there was much more to Mucha’s achievement than this. At the height of his career as a decorative artist, he became convinced that art should serve ideas, he became chief artistic and cultural adviser to the interwar Czech government, and he completed a major and controversial fresco cycle, the Slav Epic, as well as portraits and large symbolic paintings. This book—the first full-scale treatment of Mucha’s entire oeuvre—includes discussions and reproductions of paintings, posters, panneaux decoratifs, pastels, drawings, and illustrations from throughout his career. In addition, the authors provide essays on Mucha’s Paris years; his association with Sarah Bernhardt; the importance of American patronage on his later work; his graphic and painterly techniques; and the problems connected with the conservation of the large canvases. This lavishly illustrated book is the catalogue for an exhibition of Mucha’s work that will tour the United States, beginning in San Diego in 1998. Published in association with Art Services International, Washington, D.C.


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Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists working in Paris at the turn of the century. His distinctive and original posters and his decorative panels in le style Mucha became almost synonymous with French Art Nouveau. The admirer and iconographer of Sarah Bernhardt, he was also well known as the creator of familiar advertisements and as a Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists working in Paris at the turn of the century. His distinctive and original posters and his decorative panels in le style Mucha became almost synonymous with French Art Nouveau. The admirer and iconographer of Sarah Bernhardt, he was also well known as the creator of familiar advertisements and as a book illustrator. Yet there was much more to Mucha’s achievement than this. At the height of his career as a decorative artist, he became convinced that art should serve ideas, he became chief artistic and cultural adviser to the interwar Czech government, and he completed a major and controversial fresco cycle, the Slav Epic, as well as portraits and large symbolic paintings. This book—the first full-scale treatment of Mucha’s entire oeuvre—includes discussions and reproductions of paintings, posters, panneaux decoratifs, pastels, drawings, and illustrations from throughout his career. In addition, the authors provide essays on Mucha’s Paris years; his association with Sarah Bernhardt; the importance of American patronage on his later work; his graphic and painterly techniques; and the problems connected with the conservation of the large canvases. This lavishly illustrated book is the catalogue for an exhibition of Mucha’s work that will tour the United States, beginning in San Diego in 1998. Published in association with Art Services International, Washington, D.C.

30 review for Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau

  1. 4 out of 5

    ♥ℳelody

    Probably the most in-depth cohesive catalog of all of Mucha's work and life. It's very thorough in the timeline of Mucha's work and different mediums he worked in. I appreciated seeing photographs of him and his line drawings and works of his that I haven't seen before. This a very hefty book which I'd say is a coffee table book just by the size and weight of it. Probably the most in-depth cohesive catalog of all of Mucha's work and life. It's very thorough in the timeline of Mucha's work and different mediums he worked in. I appreciated seeing photographs of him and his line drawings and works of his that I haven't seen before. This a very hefty book which I'd say is a coffee table book just by the size and weight of it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jaimie

    While this book is a great resource for scholarly articles and a comprehensive catalogue of mucha's artwork, it has some major flaws that make me like it a lot less than I should. The first is how the layout is done. Text only appears in large blocks, which limits the arrangement (and therefore the size in many cases) of the illustrations. This is most likely a cause of printer limits in regards to layout, but it is unfortunate how small some pictures are as a result. The "Slav Epic," especially While this book is a great resource for scholarly articles and a comprehensive catalogue of mucha's artwork, it has some major flaws that make me like it a lot less than I should. The first is how the layout is done. Text only appears in large blocks, which limits the arrangement (and therefore the size in many cases) of the illustrations. This is most likely a cause of printer limits in regards to layout, but it is unfortunate how small some pictures are as a result. The "Slav Epic," especially requires a large reproduction for readers to appreciate the amount of detail in each picture (the actual canvases are HUGE), but the reproductions here are so small that the images are largely lost. Secondly, the pieces are not presented chronologically, so any researcher wanting to study the evolution of Mucha's style is hindered by having to flip pages constantly. Studying Mucha's "phases" is virutally impossible this way as well, since photographs appear in random places throughout the book, even though he did not start using them until much later in his career, so the reader is presented with a falsified timeline. The last (and most important) problem is the colour. Many times only black ink is used, and I found many of the pictures in colour to have erronious tone! Mucha's art may be distinct because of it's line style, but art is effected greatly by colour, so the reader will be extremely underwhelmed by Mucha's creations in this form.

  3. 4 out of 5

    sarah blake

    What can I say, I love Mucha. This book gave me a good basic background on the artist and some exquisite art.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarai

    From Library Journal Alphonse Mucha (1890-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists in Paris at the turn of the century. His sensual female portraits with their elaborate borders embody the essence of Art Nouveau. The Mucha family and the Mucha Foundation have put together a touring exhibition of Mucha's work, and this is the companion volume. Though numerous works on Mucha have appeared in the past few decades, none have been as exhaustive as this illustrated group of essays by note From Library Journal Alphonse Mucha (1890-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists in Paris at the turn of the century. His sensual female portraits with their elaborate borders embody the essence of Art Nouveau. The Mucha family and the Mucha Foundation have put together a touring exhibition of Mucha's work, and this is the companion volume. Though numerous works on Mucha have appeared in the past few decades, none have been as exhaustive as this illustrated group of essays by noted European experts. The full-scale treatment covers paintings, decorative panels, pastels, drawings, photographs, jewelry, and advertisements as well as numerous book and magazine illustrations. The essays elucidate Mucha's political activities in Czechoslovakia, which spawned the enormous murals "The Slav Epic"; his association with the actress Sarah Bernhardt; and the impact of American patronage on his later work. This lavish homage may prove to be the most important study of an amazing and prolific artist. Highly recommended. Tons of wonderful pictures and lots of really good information about the artist himself. One of my favorite artists.

  5. 5 out of 5

    E L K Y

    Alfons Mucha is artist that found way to my heart and as such, I am deeply interested in his works and his life. This book I rated five stars from two reasons. One, it maps Mucha's life and changes of his personality as we were shown in paintings and related books and articles to time. Two - it deeply describes creations, changes and finding himself as an artist. If you perhaps study history of arts, this would be book exactly for you, because more then biography this describes painter's works w Alfons Mucha is artist that found way to my heart and as such, I am deeply interested in his works and his life. This book I rated five stars from two reasons. One, it maps Mucha's life and changes of his personality as we were shown in paintings and related books and articles to time. Two - it deeply describes creations, changes and finding himself as an artist. If you perhaps study history of arts, this would be book exactly for you, because more then biography this describes painter's works within' great details. Brilliant work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Serge Pierro

    This collection of Alphose Mucha works is quite broad in its scope. Many types of media are included and the section on his sketchbook is especially fascinating. The first half of the book contains lots of information on the artist himself, though it is slightly disappointing, since many of the pieces are produced in black and white. However, the second half of the book is in color and presents a wide range of his output. A great collection of pieces with insightful annotations.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy Denim

    I love Mucha, having discovered him while studying abroad in Prague. While this book gives quite a bit of detail on the life of the artist I was disappointed that the whole first half of the book was in black and white. I understand the publishers probably chose this format to keep the price down, but it would have been nice to see the colors and nuances the well informed commentary gave when speaking about particular pictures instead of waiting until the latter half of the book to see them.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Seizure Romero

    This book is the catalogue for the exhibition of the same name which stopped at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle in the summer of 1998. It was amazing. I went twice, and occasionally kick myself for not going more (it was FREE! FREE, I tell you!). Fortunately, I have this book to keep my leg from getting too tired.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Strand

    Largely unknown and grossly under appreciated Mucha was one of the worlds most prolific and talented artists. This book is difficult to find but more than worth it. Any book about Mucha is worth it, he will blow your mind. Ka-POW!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dru Arnaldo

    art nouveau and its proper fascination for the ages

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wolf

    beautiful art. fabulous to study. i often revisit this artist for inspiration while currently working in studio. i love the nouveau natural flourishes, so rich and dreamy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Madelyn

    Mucha is one of my favorite artists, so I love having this around for inspiration. Lots of nice art reproductions plus some good historical essays. Highly stylized and romantic artwork.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lis

    My favorite...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nino

  15. 4 out of 5

    Zaria

  16. 5 out of 5

    Red

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kiara

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisanne

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shalo Smith

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marla Amari

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samasedo904yahoo.com

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Schwartz

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wade Furlong

  25. 4 out of 5

    Asca

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fenra

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nita Imroatun

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sigmund Humanski

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Hallock

  30. 4 out of 5

    Seth Mussey

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