Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alphonse Mucha

As an illustrator, I should be ashamed to admit to this, but I have only recently become aware of the artist Alphonse Mucha. Yes, I heard the name, but his work had never inpacted me enough to take a second (or in some cases first) look at his images. However, the more modern illustrations I looked at, I started to see these stylistic notes that seemed to be variations on a theme, an original theme that may have influenced all these new pieces. Then I saw Mucha and I understood. Many of Mucha's illustrations have this composition, a graphically designed backdrop, almost abstract in quality with a figure or figures in the foreground, drawn and painted in what I would compare in modern times to comic book-esque stylings. The piece I have choosen here seems to epitomize this style. This woman stands in a nearly unrealistic poistion, one which accentuates the lines of her form, elbows and head back, chest thrust forward on tippy toes, all situated in a swirling mass of hair locks, flowing scarves and dress bits and then framed by otherworldly manifestations of geometric figures, circles and arcs, organic flowering shapes...it is just a near overload of information, yet, this potential chaos is organized in a manner that flows, leads the eye, provides places of rest for the viewer before it engages you to look further, or again. How did I not know Mucha? I am ashamed.


  1. While I love his well-known "art-nouveau" pieces, I love his Slav works even more.
    So glad to see you back posting on this blog. It's very informative and yet, personal.

  2. Better late than never Mark!
    I'm glad you're back writing this blog again. I find it always interesting and informative.
    Keep it up.
    Have you discovered Aubrey Beardsley yet? He, along with Mucha were huge influences on the mod/hippy design work from the 60's and 70's.
    Beardsley is a certain kind of warped, too.

  3. Kim, I do appreciate that you enjoy reading this.
    Madz, Beardsley huh? I will definitely take a look.
    Thanks for stopping by, both'a'ya! :u)