Alphonse Mucha believed art as a medium of carrying spiritual messages. He was somewhat ill at ease of the commercial success and attention his designs, complete with characteristic Mucha illustrations, received.
Alfons Maria Mucha or Alphonse Mucha was born in Ivančice, Moravia on July 24, 1860. As a young boy Mucha loved both singing and drawing but was inattentive to his studies and in 1877 he was expelled from the school for poor performance. By then, though, he had already chosen his career path. Two years later Mucha left for Vienna to work as a theatrical scene painter and in another two years he enrolled in the Münich Academy of Arts.
By 1877, Alphonse Mucha moved to Paris and studied in Académie Julian for another couple of years. His work in Paris firmly established him as an artist and illustrator. Mucha was introduced to famous actress and photographer Sarah Bernhardt in 1894. This commenced a very successful period for Mucha when he painted, lithographed posters, designed jewelleries and novelty items for la divine Sarah.
Many people claim Alphonse Mucha’s achievements as a triumph of art nouveau. Though, it could be contended, if his very florid style of paintings is nothing but variations of neoclassicism. He toiled hard for years to complete Slovanská epopej (The Slav Epic) according to his taste. He poured his talent and skills as an artist to create this series containing twenty paintings of huge dimensions. He also carried out the interior decorations of churches and crafted stained glass windows (most notably of St Vitus Cathedral) during his lifetime. Mucha passed away in Prague on July 14, 1939.