Alfons Mucha: The Slav Epic

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Municipal House Náměstí Republiky 6, Praha 1

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Exhibitions

50–500 CZK

After two years, The Slav Epic is again presented to the public. This time in the premises connected with the rise of Czechoslovakia and with another work by Alfons Mucha, who decorated the Mayor’s Hall here. Exhibition space in the Municipal House is one of the most representative in Prague and its Art Nouveau character is very closely related to the author’s decorative work. For the Cycle of the Slav Epic, of course, they also create a very suitable backdrop, but their capacity is not enough for all twenty monumental canvases. There are eleven images of smaller dimensions that originated during the First World War and after it, when Mucha was forced to adopt the original dimensions to the limited canvas deliveries from Belgium.

Alfons Mucha (1860–1939), the world’s most renowned Czech contemporary artist, won international fame in Paris at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to his original Art Nouveau decorative work. But the meaning of his own life was seen in another work he considered to be more serious in a set of twenty monumental paintings, the Slav Epic, on which he worked between 1912–1926.

The completed cycle was presented for the first time to the Prague public in the autumn of 1928 on the occasion of the celebrations of ten years of independence of the Czechoslovak state in the Great Court of the newly-built Veletržní Palace. He is now returning to the same space. The current installation is based on Much’s original content layout of the Slav Epic, from the time series of the individual themes. It uncovers the inner links between images, underlines the rhythm of the cycle, and highlights the main purpose of the extensive work into which Mucha has put his best abilities for years.