Die Musik / La Musique

1898 by Alfons Mucha
MUCHA Museum, Prague

Mucha is everywhere. His art covers posters and decorative panels across the world, but the museum in Prague is unique in showing the intriguing progression of his style. Music is a decorative panel from The Art Series, following in the serial style of his first set of panels The Four Seasons in 1896. Moving to Paris from Munich in 1887, where he first studied art, Mucha was a pioneer in the French Art Nouveau movement, proving that art could easily transcend the boundaries of traditional painting. What is most notable about Mucha’s work in France is that it made Art Nouveau visible – not only to those who were rich enough to bring it into their homes, but through advertising and posters. Art Nouveau began to be seen everywhere: soap to musical shows were now advertised and made appealing through the medium of a distinctive artistic style. Music is a typical Mucha design, the main figure emerging from a circular frame and the curling seductive line of Art Nouveau snaking across each element of the composition. Background in Mucha’s work takes on a whole new meaning, made up of decoration and symbols relevant to the image rather than any sort of realism. Flowers hang like small and tinkling bells in each of the corners, gloriously adorning Music in both beauty and suggestion of sound. The figure of Music herself then reaches out and into the background; her hair and dress cascading out of her circle, each curling into distinctive Art Nouveau lines, echoing and reflecting the patterns that surround her. The vitality of Mucha’s figures is fuelled by this incorporation of each into his celebratory and adorning designs. Though we shouldn’t underestimate the figures themselves, which are always expressive, beckoning and inviting into the theme – the music, the season – they have come to embody.


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One response to “Thirty-nine

  1. Pingback: Two hundred and forty | postcardwall

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