One summer at the age of 16, I fell in love with the delicate lines and romanticism of Alphonse Mucha’s works. It was the summer I volunteered at the National Palace Museum and this was their temporary exhibition.
Imagine my contentment when I saw the first few posters for the Mucha expo at Musée du Luxembourg popping up all over Paris! Imagine my excitement when I was offered the tickets!
Alphonse Mucha was a Czech painter and lived in Paris during the Art Nouveau era. He rose to fame with his first ever poster of Sarah Bernhardt (a famous Parisian actress/comedian) and later became known as “the greatest decorative artist in the world”. From posters, he extended his talents to designing covers of menus, biscuit boxes, even jewellery and the interior of a jewellery shop!
In 1894, Mucha would meet the Swedish author August Swindberg who was deeply interested in the occult and mysticism. This led Mucha to join the Freemasons which advocated “the improvement of humanity”. He would then give up his signature style, the Mucha style, to create art driven by a social and philosophical vision of unity.
Sadly, the Mucha style is my personal favourite. I much prefer the gaiety of the colours and figures in his posters to the sombre depictions of suffering shown in his later works. It is also the Mucha style that drove him to fame and fortune. All the same, I do admire the man for believing in something more than the superficiality of mankind.
Unfortunately, as a well-known figure and a Freemason, Mucha was one of the first to be arrested by the Gestapo during World War II and died 10 days after his 79th birthday…
Regardless, the beauty and grace of Mucha’s art lives on and is much appreciated by fans such as myself.
For more information on the exhibition at Musée du Luxembourg, feel free to visit their website. However, I have included some useful information below.
Dates: 12 September 2018 – 27 January 2019
Opening times: Everyday from 10:30 – 19:00 (until 22:00 every Friday)
The museum will also be open for extra night shifts every Monday from the 12th of November until the 17th of December.
The museum will be open ’til 18:00 on the 24th and 31st of December and will be closed on Christmas (25th December).
Tickets: 13 euros full price