Alphonse Mucha was born in Moravia in 1860, and studied at many institutions across Europe, including those in Prague and Munich. In 1890 he travelled to Paris to meet the great painters of the period, and studied under Laurens, Boulanger and Lefebvre. From 1895 to 1910, Mucha was a respected leading light of the French decorative art world. In 1910 he retired to Prague and there produced a substantial body of impressive work, characterised by his delicate portrayal of detailed images still evident today in his art, prints and posters.
Alphonse Mucha played an important role in the advancement of ‘modernism’ and is today considered to have been one of the principal architects of the influential French Art Nouveau movement, which thrived at the turn of the twentieth century. He was a particularly strong influence on many artists of the period and his style was widely copied, with its blend of natural and abstract decorative patterns. Mucha's reputation lies not only in his wonderful art, but in his prints and posters as well.
Part of the fame that Alphonse Mucha enjoyed came from his art, prints and posters of the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt, illustrations for books and magazines, and jewelry. Almost all of his designs were centered on romanticized female figures, highlighted by great flourishes. His early prints, in mint condition, are considered valuable today because they are some of the best representational art of his era.