miércoles, 5 de julio de 2017


Christa Zaat

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Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech painter) 1860 - 1939
Princess Hyacinth, 1911
colour lithograph
125.5 x 83.5 cm. (49.21 x 32.87 in.)
Mucha Museum, Prague, Czech Republic

Oskar Nedbal's ballet-pantomime, Princess Hyacinth, premiered in 1911 at the National Theatre, Prague, with libretto by Ladislav Novák.

Mucha's poster advertising the performance features the portrait of the popular actress Andula Sedláčková, who starred in the title role.

A village blacksmith dreams that his daughter becomes the Princess Hyacinth and that she is abducted by a sorcerer. Mucha makes reference to the plot by incorporating hearts, the blacksmith's tools, a crown and instruments of sorcery. A hyacinth motif is used throughout the decorative details.

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Born in Ivancice, Moravia near the city of Brno in the modern day Czech Republic, Alfons Mucha began his artistic training taking drawing lessons at the Academy of Visual Arts in Prague and continued his studies in Munich. In 1890, the young artist moved on to Paris and enrolled in the Academie Julien where he was the student of J. P. Laurens, Gustave Boulanger and Lefebvre.

While in Paris, Mucha began to draw illustrations for books and magazines. In 1894, almost overnight, based on a poster he designed for a play starring Sarah Bernhardt, Gismonda, he became a success. Although widely regarded as one of the premier artists of the Art Nouveau period, Mucha shared much in philosophy and artistic temperament with the artists of the Symbolist movement. The composition of his posters was influenced by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Carlos Scwabe and the atmosphere surrounding the Salons de la Rose + Croix as well as by Byzantine and Japanese art. Although most renowned for his poster designs, the artist himself set more store by his other projects. In 1898-1899, he did a series of illustrations for The Lord's Prayer adding personal comments which echoed those of the founder of the Rose + Croix, Joseph Peladan. The crowning achievement of his career was the monumental series, The Slav Epic; twenty huge canvases that marked his return to the history painting of his youth.

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