Alfons Mucha (1860-1939) was an Art Nouveau artist with a sensuous taste for life. If you’re in Prague for more than a day, don’t miss a visit to the Mucha Museum. Go at least an hour after opening to avoid running into the tour crowds.
Mucha catapulted to fame with his poster for Sarah Bernhardt in Giselda and never looked back. In a flurry of beauty, he produced promotional material for the Divine Sarah; ads for cigarette papers, champagne and tourist boards; jewelry, stage sets and costumes. Look for swirling floral motifs and wide-eyed women in flowing drapery.
A proud patriot, Mucha devoted much of his later art to his country. In addition to this magnificent window in St. Vitus Cathedral, he designed stamps and banknotes for the ill-fated 1920s-1930s republic and worked on the Lord Mayor’s Hall. His decidedly epic 20-canvas Slav Epic took him 18 years to complete.
In the spring of 1939, Mucha was arrested by the Gestapo. During the interrogation, the 78-year-old artist contracted pneumonia, eventually being released due to illness. He died a few days later.