PRAGUE. Life Insurance Policy of 20.000 Kc. brown. No 345875. Designed by Alphonse MUCHA (1860-1939). Mucha was born in the Moravia region of today's Czech Republic, and studied in Munich, Vienna and finally in Paris. His career developed from 1894, when he was commissioned to design a poster for a new play starring Sarah Bernhardt. The play was a sensational success, and Bernhardt gave Mucha a contract for 6 years to design her posters, and also some of her costumes, calendars and menus. His fame spread. He became a leader of the sinuous, flowery style, known as Art Nouveau or Jugendstil. This style was characterized by frequently featured beautiful healthy young women (which probably explains its success) in flowing vaguely Neoclassical looking robes, making use of pale pastel colors. The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris further spread the "Mucha style" internationally. After a 4-year stay in the United States, he returned to Czechoslovakia in 1910 and settled in Prague. When the country gained its independence after World War I, Mucha designedthe new postage stamps, banknotes and other government documents. Influenced by Slav nationalism, he spent many years working on this masterpiece "The Slav Epic", a series of 20 huge paintings depicting the history of the Czech and the Slav peoplesin general. He finally died in 1939 after being arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo, when the German troops invaded Czechoslovakia. His influence was immense and his style knew a strong revival in the 1960s: e.g. the posters developed by Michael English and Nigel Waymouth for Pink Floyd were clearly influenced by his style. Six perforation holes, hardly touching the graphic design, 2 folds. 4-page insurance policy. Rare.
Startprice: € 200