Monday, May 20, 2013

Mucho Mucha

Times of the day by Alfons Mucha

We spent last weekend in Prague, and yesterday we visited the Ivan Lendl: Alfons Mucha exhibit. Mucha is probably the most famous Czech artist of all time - he's certainly the only one I'd ever heard of before moving here.

Czech tennis star Ivan Lendl (who's from Ostrava!) is a big Mucha fan and he has been collecting the artist's works for the past two decades. Lendl has in his possession the most complete collection of Mucha's works and he decided that it should be shared with the world. The exhibit is currently on in Prague until the end of July, so do check it out if at all possible; it really is very impressive.

Art Nouveau posters have always been close to my heart - as a child, I had a colouring book of these posters, so I know some of them very intimately.

Of the works displayed at this exhibit, my favourites were not the most famous ones (e.g. his posters of Sarah Bernhardt). The ones I most liked were his decorative panels, such as the one pictured. Looking at these, I long to be - just for a while - a woman of leisure.

The exhibit is at the Prague Municipal House, which is in itself a tourist attraction, since it's one of the most beautiful buildings in Prague. Alfons Mucha has designed every aspect of the Lord Mayor's Hall of the Municipal House, so he is closely associated with this building. There are guided tours of the Municipal House, but we decided to leave that for another time.

You can buy some very high quality Mucha posters (and other mementoes) on line at I was planning on buying a poster...until I saw the prices.

It's interesting that some of the posters shown at the exhibit were, for example, ads for cigarettes, champagne and biscuits. I wonder if our current ads for such products will be displayed at art galleries in a hundred years from now?