Alphonse Mucha: In the Quest of Beauty
16 June – 29 October 2017
This show charts the legacy of one of Art Nouveau's most influential artists.
Alphonse Mucha first became known for his poster Gismonda, which depicted the acclaimed actress Sarah Bernhardt. The theatrical superstar supposedly called the printing firm Lemercier and demanded a poster for her new production. As all the regular artists were on holiday the duty fell to Mucha, an inexperienced illustrator who was correcting proofs at the workshop as a favour to a friend.
The result was not only a huge commercial success, but was also the beginning of an on-going collaboration between the artist and celebrity. He produced all of her subsequent production advertising, as well as designing stage pieces and costumes.
Such esteemed patronage and a stunning, romantic aesthetic saw Mucha become one of the defining figures of the Art Nouveau era. This touring exhibition features his first poster as well as other works the created celebrating beauty. Many of his photographs and drawings are also on display, as well as works that reappraised the ‘le style Mucha’ when his oeuvre was rediscovered in the 1960s.