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Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty

Alfons Maria Mucha was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist,known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs.

Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewelry, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was termed initially The Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau (French for "new art").

Mucha's works frequently featured beautiful young women in flowing, vaguely Neoclassical-looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes
formed halos behind their heads. Very interesting are the "allegories" of seasons, hours of the day, stars and gems. In the image you can see the allegory of the evening. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors.

Although it enjoys great popularity today, at the time when he died, Mucha's style was considered outdated.

"Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty" (1st Apr 2015 to 27th Sep 2015) will explore Mucha’s idea of beauty – the core principle underlying his artistic philosophy.

Featuring works mainly from Mucha’s Paris period, the exhibition will examine how Mucha’s distinctive style, popularly known as ‘le style Mucha’ in Paris, evolved and became synonymous with the international Art Nouveau style.

The exhibition will also look at how his artistic philosophy is reflected on the development of his work beyond the ‘Art Nouveau’ period, with examples of works produced after his return to the Czech lands in 1910.

The exhibition will make links between Mucha's work and philosophy and the Art Nouveau environment and Aesthetic collection of the Russell-Cotes Museum. Sir Merton Russell-Cotes's Bournemouth residence, built in the 'Art Nouveau' style as a home for his Japanese and High Victorian art collections, is an expression of the 'cult of beauty' - a notion celebrated by followers of the Aesthetic Movement in Britain.

 It will provide a fascinating spiritual backdrop to Mucha’s art.

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