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This is a reproduction of Alphonse Mucha's poster of 1898 advertising Sarah Bernhardt's role in Medea, the Greek tragic masterpiece of 431 BCE by Euripides. This poster is a radical departure for Mucha whose works usually depict women in muted colors and surrounded by soft and sensual floral displays and flowing veils and robes. In this poster the demented Medea is shown with maddened eyes holding a blood-encrusted dagger. There is a dead figure at her feat, perhaps one of her children. Many consider this as Mucha's most powerful depiction. Mucha was a native of Ivancice, Moravia having been born in 1860 in the Austrian Empire. This is presently within the Czech Republic and Mucha was Czech by nationality. Prior to 1887 he worked in Moravia and Vienna and in that year he began his studies at the Academie Julian and Academie Colarossi, both in Paris. Late in 1894 he happened across a sudden need for a poster for Sarah Bernhardt opening a play at the Teatre de la Renaissance. He produced a poster by January 1, 1895 and began a six year contract with Bernardt. He was an immediate commercial success and his unique compositions soon came to be known as the "Mucha Style". It was soon re-christened Art Nouveau and became wildly popular and much imitated. Mucha married, visited the United States from 1906 and 1910 and , in the latter year, settled in Prague where he became a proponent of Czech nationalism. He designed many of the documents for the new state when Czechoslovakia declared its independence in 1918. In 1939 he was arrested by the Nazis when Czechoslovakia was annexed and died shortly thereafter on July 14.
If you are interested in commissioning an oil painting on canvas of this art print, please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 21st, 2015
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