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#35 - Art_ndDesign IX - Alfons Mucha

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Article written by
Rosa Cortázar Meléndez

Writing of the week

Hello again! Continuing with Art Nouveau, I'm going to tell you a few things about my favorite artist of the movement (and the most famous, because I'm a basic girl).

Alfons Mucha was a Czech painter who started out working in theatre decoration, but the place where he worked went up in flames and he moved to Paris, where he became famous with his Gismonda poster, announcing the play performed by the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt (the Margot Robbie of today); and, although he is best known for his poster designs, he worked on a variety of projects, including carpet designs, jewellery, stained glass windows, stamps, featuring beautiful young women, and at the end of his life he produced a series of paintings on the history of the Slavic peoples, called The Slavic Epic. 

But, returning to the relationship with design, he is a very prominent artist in advertising, which was growing in the last years of the 19th century thanks to the advances in colour lithography and the influence of Japanese art; in fact, he established one of the bases of advertising that continues today, women as objects, without forgetting the fundamental role of celebrities in promoting products, as we continue to see now with the Instagram influencers.

And he is even considered by some the father of Graphic Design; although, in my opinion, he made some posters so based on aesthetics that sometimes it is difficult to recognise the product he was advertising, thank goodness they always came with the name of the product. As general characteristics of his posters, we can mention the same as those of Art Nouveau, with very marked lines, vertical format, curved lines, nature and oriental inspiration, and a lot of details, being very frequent the allegories (characters, in this case female, representing a concept).

And, as always, if you want more information, I will leave you a link: An Introduction to the Work of Alphonse Mucha and Art Nouveau

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