Mucha's works for World Exhibition 1900 exhibited at Municipal House

Princess Hyacint by Alfons Mucha

A new exhibition is underway in Prague's Municipal House, featuring works by the famous Czech Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha. Although Mucha has his own museum in Prague, the pictures exhibited in the Municipal House were borrowed from abroad and this is a unique opportunity for Czech art lovers to see them. Alena Skodova was at the opening ceremony and has this report:

Alfons Mucha
The exhibition, entitled 'Alfons Mucha - Paris 1900' focuses on works the artist created for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Paris at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was a Mecca for artists. Mucha settled in Paris in 1887, and it was here where his most important works were created.

The exhibition in Prague has two parts. One of the curators, Dr. Anna Dvorakova told me more:

"I'm pleased to be here at the opening of the dual exhibition of Alfons Mucha's work, one of them is the most beloved and most famous book Le Pater, The Lord's Prayer, and the other half is his decoration for the pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 1900 Paris exhibition, the World Exhibition. There's we could say interconnection between those two parts. For Mucha the exhibition in Paris was a breaking point that led from his decorative art to his more meaningful, more symbolic and more nationalistic kind of artistic production."

'The Lord's Prayer' is full of symbols ranging from Christianity through Free Masonry to Theosophy and to understand them all is practically impossible without reading Mucha's own accompanying texts. Dr. Jana Orlikova, another one of the curators, explains that his canvases for the Bosnia and Herzegovina pavilion at the World Exhibition are also rich in symbolism:

"In fact Mucha never abandoned the idea of - so to speak - 'smuggling' spiritual themes into all his works, including his decorative posters. The spiritual messages were expressed by either symbols or by composition. His works were conceived as allegories pointing to higher elements - to light, to God and so on. The same goes for his canvases for the Bosnia and Herzegovina pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris. It can clearly be seen in Mucha's choice of colours - the highest part on all the pictures is blue, which was a colour popular among symbolists for expressing spirituality. That band of blue at the top was a space for myths and legends."

The exhibition is accompanied by lectures on Mucha and his works and it will be on at the Municipal House till September 29th.