Feminine and flower - filled world of Alfons Mucha

Alfons Mucha, his feminine world filled with flowers, Mucha-inspired jewellery, and where you can find the hidden gems of Prague

A self-portrait of Alphonse Mucha drawing in his Paris studio with a pipe in his mouth. Alphonse Mucha

Alfons Mucha, his art and tribute to beauty 

Talented in a number of art fields - from painting, sculpture, and architecture to theatre or furniture and jewellery design –, he was the face of Art Nouveau

He made no difference between painting, design, and advertising. His work was a tribute to beauty. The world is especially familiar with his graphic arts, posters, and applied arts (labels, vignettes, stickers, calendars). He was one of the few artists ever to be recognised while still alive, and is famous to this day.

In the 19th century, only the social elite had access to art. Mucha, however, believed that art should be accessible to all, regardless of social standing. It’s no wonder, then, that he made his name doing what could be called paintings of the streets -posters.

Photo: A self-portrait of Alfons Mucha, drawing in his Parisian studio, with a pipe. Courtesy of Wikipedia

F. Champenois Imprimeur-Editeur (1897), Alfons Mucha

Mucha’s feminine, flower-filled worlds

Women and the beautiful female body were the pivot of Mucha’s work. He almost always portrayed them as beautiful or innocent beings in robes, with long flowing hair. He pictured women as demi-goddesses surrounded with flowers and symbols, with no awareness of worldly pains.

Mucha would portray flowers just as often, one of the most characteristic features of his style—be they held, woven into a woman’s hair, or otherwise incorporated. 

Photo: F. Champenois Imprimeur-Editeur (1897). Courtesy of Wikipedia

The Seasons, 1896

When creating his panels, Mucha pursued six main subjects—The Seasons (1896), The Flowers (1898), The Arts (1898), The Times of the Day (1899), The Precious Stones (1900), The Moon and the Stars (1902).

One of Mucha’s most popular series, The Seasons of 1896, captures the changing mood of the seasons, using four female figures. Personifying the four seasons was nothing new but Mucha breathed a new life into the subject. 

The Flowers, 1898

Les fleurs: l'iris, l'œillet, le lys, la rose/Flowers: the iris, carnation, lily, rose. Mucha’s cycle The Flowers employs the author’s characteristic style to personify four flowers—the rose, iris, carnation, and lily—as women. Even the figures’ hairstyles mimic the shape of petals and leaves. 

"The Seasons", a cycle by Alfons Mucha

Foto: Cyklus "čtyř ročních dob" Alfonse Muchy. Courtesy of WikipediaPhoto: "The Seasons", a cycle by Alfons Mucha. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Georges Fouquet’s jewellery-store in Rue Royale 6 in Paris

Mucha’s jewellery, Fouquet, and Parisian boutique

Mucha’s jewellery is nowhere near as well-known as his posters. The renowned French jeweller George Fouquet once saw Mucha’s poster Medea (1898) and noticed the snake-shaped bracelet on Medea’s wrist. A year went by and the jeweller created a bracelet just like the one in Mucha’s poster, for Sarah Bernhardt. Subsequently, Mucha designed a number of jewellery pieces for the actress. Mucha himself created only a limited number of pieces, mostly in cooperation with Fouquet.

The cooperation resulted in the establishing of Fouquet’s boutique in Rue Royale whose exterior and interior Mucha designed. In 1941, Fouquet gave the jewellery to Musée Carnavalet in Paris for safekeeping.

You can see Mucha’s jewellery here.

Photo: The façade of Georges Fouquet’s jewellery-store in Rue Royale 6 in Paris, designed in 1901 by Mucha in his capacity as a project manager of the Jansen company which hired Léon Fargus to make the stained glass. In 1923, it was taken apart. Musée Carnavalet (Paris). Courtesy of Wikipedia. Autor: O.Taris

Visiting Prague - Mucha and finding the city’s hidden gems

If you admire Mucha’s art and happen to be visiting Prague or are planning to, you can take Mucha’s Prague trail or go to the Mucha Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to Alfons Mucha. The opening hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day.

Additionally, the museum is just a 5 minute walk from GIYOU GARDEN. So after taking a look at the exhibition, you can come tour our extraordinary garden of silver and gold and admire not just Mucha’s posters of irises, carnations, lilies, and roses, but also our unique jewel snowdrops, daisies, ryegrass, cornflowers, lavender, etc. you won’t be able to see anywhere else.