I’m sure I’m not alone in my love for Alfons Mucha’s paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs in the decorative arts. His use of ornamentation and bordering is what makes his work so easily recognizable and so inspirational. None of his works are exactly the same, but they all carry a theme, the unmistakeable mark of this particular artist. He developed his own aesthetic ideals and original style, which became the hallmark of his time and was also known as “Mucha Style” and his work quickly becomes the essence of Art Nouveau.
Moet et Chandon (Image Source)
In 1894 Mucha’s fame skyrocketed when he Mucha volunteered to design a poster Sarah Bernhardt’s play Gizmonda. The poster garnered much attention and much publicity for the play that it’s succes lead to his 6-year contract with the legendary actress and was tied to her rising fame. With Sarah Berndhardt as his patron, Mucha went on to design posters, stage sets, costumes and props for her plays.
Posters for Sarah Berndhart’s plays ‘La Dame aux Camelia’s‘, ‘Gizmonda‘ and ‘Medee‘ (Image Source)
As a artist and designer I am influenced by Mucha because of his ability to mix drawing and design in a functional and aesthetic way. I especially love how his works are based on a strong centered composition and symbolic themes. Each featuring graceful young female figures in sensuous or provocative poses. They possess long intertwining and vaporous hair while they are adorned in light dresses enriched by decorative ornaments inspired by nature such as beautiful jewels, flowers and willowy foliage. Functional and decorative elements including text usually frame the illustrations and the background space is filled by floral or abstract patterns.
‘Cigarette Job’ (1898)
While most of his commissions and fame were garnered for his work in commercial arts, he also produced an astonishing amount of drawings, pastel or watercolor studies, tempera paintings and designs for interior decorations, cutlery and dinner object, jewelry and fashion.
Fuchsia Necklace (1905) Made by jeweler Gorges Fouquet in opal, cabochon sapphire, pearl, and gold
‘Age of Love‘ (1938) (Image Source)