To commemorate the 160th anniversary of Alphonse Mucha’s birth, Sakai City will be exhibiting the major works from its Mucha collection en masse. The city boasts an expansive collection that spans the artist’s entire career, from his early years as a painter right up until his final years. These include the posters and decorative panels that instantly propelled him to fame in Paris, large-scale oil paintings, sculptures, jewelry, sketches, book illustrations, and more, making this comprehensive collection one of the world’s finest.
Mucha was born in Moravia—now part of the Czech Republic—in 1860. Following years of artistic training, he moved to Paris where he made a name for himself creating book illustrations and designing commercial posters. Later, at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris, Mucha’s many pieces of work on display included a series of murals for the Bosnia-Herzegovina Pavilion. Despite being a highly sought-after designer, it was Mucha’s desire to contribute to his homeland through his art, and so he went on to complete numerous projects in order to do so. One of these was The Slav Epic, a series of 20 large canvases that he began painting in 1910 and that took him a total of about 16 years.
In this exhibition Sakai City presents a world-leading, exhaustive collection of works that span the creative path of Mucha’s whole career. In addition to his elegant, Art-Nouveau depictions of female figures on posters and panels from his time in Paris, visitors will come across works related to the Exposition Universelle, which marked a turning point in his career, as well as the paintings from his later years which highlighted his desire for independence and peace.