I didn’t have to do a thing! What a great day! My passengers had even organized dinner themselves, which gave me plenty of time to prepare other trips and do my own thing. Since staring at a computer all day can be a bit mind numbing, I decided to visit the Mucha museum in Prague.
Jus off Wenceslas square lies the massive building with a small Mucha collection inside. To be honest, I’d never heard of him until I saw all his prints int he tourist shops around here. There was something about it… The expressions on the faces of the characters, the colors and shapes. Alphonse Mucha was a Czech that became one of the great artists in the time of Van Gogh and Gaugin. He gained his fame through his art nouveau advertising works.
Perhaps it is a bit strange that we now consider advertising as art, but I guess it’s not unusual. I do wonder if people in the future will ever be staring at our current ads. Mucha didn’t start in advertising though. He painted the interiors of houses and portraits of people who thought they were important. One of his bosses saw the potential and sent him to Munich to study. Mucha continued studying in Paris and one night he got the opportunity to design a poster for a show by famous actrice Sarah Bernhardt. The day the poster hit the street was the day Mucha started to become successful.
The museum is full of advertising, for cigarettes, beer and theaters. When Czechoslovakia became an independent country, Mucha even designed the stamps and money for the new country. He also made his way to America and met a man who could realise his dreams. Mucha had Always wanted to create a series of paintings to honor his home country. So he came back to Czechoslovakia and started working on his Slav Epic, a series of 20 gigantic canvases about the history of his country and the Slavs. You can now see the paintings in the Veletržní Palác of the national gallery of Prague.
Beside inside the Mucha museum, you can also go to the castle to see his work. Mucha has made a big stain glass window in the St. Vitus church. It was sponsored by an Insurance company, so you might consider this also advertising in a way! Mucha has made all sorts of works during the years and you get an impression of that in the Mucha museum. They also play a film about his life which is worth watching. But really, the souvenir shop alone is worth it!