Mucha then signed a six-year contract with Sara Bernhardt later that year. He did not work exclusively with Bernhardt, but made posters continuously, tried sculpting, opened a graphic art school, and wrote two books on graphic art. Mucha's works frequently featured beautiful women often surrounded by flowers.
The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris spread the "Mucha style" internationally. He decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Pavilion and collaborated in the Austrian Pavilion.
Whilst in Paris, Alfons Mucha also met his wife, Marie Chytilová, a Czech girl twenty three years his junior. In 1904, Countess Rothschild gave him contacts in America for various millionaires who might want their wives' portraits painted, so that he could make more money. Mucha wanted funds for his life's greatest project - the Slav Epic.
Alfons Mucha returned to Prague in 1910 and set about finding a studio large enough to house the pictures in his Slav Epic, the largest of which measures eight by six metres, and settled upon Zbiroh Castle, not far from Prague. The Slavic Epic consists of twenty pictures, and Mucha spent eighteen years painting it, but being a hardworking man, he continued painting posters and portraits, and worked on countless other projects. Mucha contributed his time and talent to create the murals in the Municipal House. When Czechoslovakia won its independence after World War I, Mucha designed the new postage stamps, banknotes, and other government documents for the new state.
Alfons Mucha completed the Slav Epic in 1928. It was presented as a gift to the city of Prague. It was ridiculed by many artists at the time, and was generally poorly received. Because of its nationalist and Slavic tendencies, it was hidden away during the 1930s, as relations with Germany became strained.
When the Nazis occupied Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939, Alfons Mucha was amongst the first arrested by the Gestapo. He was released shortly thereafter, as he had caught pneumonia, and died a few months later, just short of his seventy ninth birthday, on July 14th 1939.
|05.06.2018||Prague city leaders call for Slav Epic to be housed at Exhibition Grounds|
|18.01.2018||Slav Epic likely to go on show for Brno Czechoslovak centenary exhibition|
|19.10.2017||Prague Municipal Court rules Slav Epic belongs to City of Prague|
|29.06.2017||Czech music strikes chord in Japan during prime minister’s business-oriented visit|
|07.06.2017||Visitor numbers for Mucha's Slav Epic in Japan far higher than anticipated|
|07.04.2017||Court rules famous Slav Epic property of City of Prague|
|21.03.2017||75,000 people see exhibition of Mucha’s Slav Epic in only 12 days|
|08.03.2017||Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic goes on display in Japan|
|07.03.2017||Mucha’s Slav Epic goes on display in Japan within Year of Czech Culture|
|01.02.2017||“Golden-donut” gallery for Slav Epic sparks emotions|
|All related articles|
Czech president burns giant red underpants at press briefing
Merkel calls Sudeten German expulsion “immoral”, drawing Czech ire
Restoration work on Prague’s Astronomical Clock reveals hidden secrets
Czech restaurants and pubs facing serious shortage of workers
Ozzy Osbourne performing in Prague with Hollywood Vampires, featuring Johnny Depp