Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Alphonse Mucha


OK, so I'm still in a Retro mood. If you were around the hippy scene in the 1960's, you probably remember Alphonse Mucha. His art was on everything from Zig-Zag rolling papers to Moet & Chandon champagne. Posters of "Mucha's women" adorned the walls of many night clubs, record shops & clothing stores. His colorful drawings were incorporated into advertising promo pieces for cultural events. There was Mucha wallpaper, carpeting, book illustrations, magazine ads, etc. My memories of that era are forever colored by his art.


Mucha's women were beautifully healthy, clothed in flowing neoclassical robes & usually surrounded by flowers. Their innocence shines through, even when provocatively posed. Mucha's art was so pervasive & seemed such a perfect representation of the flower child era, I never realized at the time that this was a revival for Mucha, who had died in 1939. He was born in 1860 in Moravia, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that eventually became part of the modern Czech Republic. He had the great good fortune of achieving early commercial success within the Art Nouveau movement, which his bio says irked him since he thought it frivolous & unimportant (art critics did not agree). In 1939, as a 79-yr old still-active painter of nationalist pan-slavic history, Mucha was arrested by the Nazi Gestapo & died in prison.

If you have a few unoccupied moments, you can pass them quite pleasurably at a website called Olga's Gallery which features about 120 Mucha paintings, not only his early work, but also the later more political canvasses. You may notice I picked up an avatar at Olga's. The image reduction is such that I'm not happy with the final product. Any suggestions?

19 comments:

dada said...

I love Mocha's art. I have a small book of his work. Re your avatar: any chance to enlarge it a bit at the expense of the white area occupying much space around the vignette?

azgoddess said...

can't help with the avatar - i personally think it's beautiful - although small...

wonderful post and i love the links...i do remember this kind-of art around and about (i guess that sure dates me - grin) thanks for sharing and the memories!

D.K. Raed said...

Dada: I tried removing the border last night, but obviously could not. Thanks so much for sending me a borderless image to work with! I'll try it again tonight, maybe not so late this time & hopefully more successfully.

AZ: I liked recalling how popular he was in the 60's. Glad you like the avatar. I'm still messing with it.

Oh & I updated the post to include Mucha's death, since it might have some bearing on our world today.

dada said...

d.k. - I was just noticing your avatar has more space than I used for the ones I sent you (rectangular instead of a 64x64pixels square. Wow, with that, one might be able to capture more of the original. (Sorry I didn't notice that when working it up.)

Fran said...

Love Muchas art- saw a calendar of it while on the hunt for a few nice calendars @ Borders not long ago.
As for your avatar... I have not figured out how to attach one to my postings & I have tinkered with getting links to behalike like click on links w no success. clearly I need a blogging 101 class.
But maybe you can enlighten me as to how to install such gizmos. I would be eternally greatful.
Others who have tried to help tell me of certain buttons to click, but I am running a MAC & do not see the buttons of which they speak.
I even tried the HELP options, but to no avail.
It's a wonder I got a blog up & running at all!

D.K. Raed said...

Fran, I'm such an idiot about these things, Enigma had to set my blog up for me. I don't know if using a MAC would make any difference. But I DID notice a couple things on the Settings & Template tabs that you might not have enabled (you'll see Settings up near the top everytime you create or edit a post):

SETTINGS - Basic - scroll down to Global Settings:
Show Compose Mode for all your blogs? Click yes (adds a compose mode to your Post Editor). I THINK these are your missing link & other buttons, like image & font!

SETTINGS - Formatting: Show Link Fields? Click yes.

Remember to SAVE these changes before going on to:

Under TEMPLATE tab - on left side, scroll down to Link Color & slect one you like. Also select a color you like for Visited Link Color. Then save your changes, otherwise they will revert to whatever the default color is.

Try & see if that helps. If it doesn't & messes up your blog, you can easily change it all back to whatever you had before. If those magic buttons do appear in the Compose Toolbar when you are editing or creating a post, one of them will be a LINK (kind of looks like a green insect to me) button. You need to copy the Http link address you want, then highlight the word you want linked to it, then click on that green LINK button, then paste in that http copied address & hit OK. It will automatically change the word you selected to an http link. The word will be underlined & in the color you selected in Templates. If you get this far, you'll easily figure out the rest of the buttons in the Compose Toolbar. Good luck!

enigma4ever said...

DK.....hey there I did indeed notice that you had set up a new avatar...lovely...I love Muchas- have always loved that his women were beautiful- and were fleshy and soft....I keep thinking if someone finds magazines from this era- they will think we embraced a skeleton look...yikes...

Thanks for the great site...wonderful...and you are doing great blogging...and look at that above you are giving advice and everything...

Larry said...

Good choices for us to wet our appetites.

Fran said...

Thank you for giving me the step by step directions. I need an Idiot's guide to google blogging. All the things you mentioned are correctly set up as prescribed.... but I still can't get the damned link feature to work the way I want to.
I finally sent an e mail to Blogger help.... with hope that I can get some computer specific guidance.
thanks for your patience with me & your help.

The help people tell me I need to install html code.
Are we having fun yet?

I run a MAC computer-- things are supposed to be one click easy. Waaaaaa

I need a techno whiz to hold my hand & walk me through it.

Fran in a fetal position.....

enigma4ever said...

fran I am not sure where you live....but if you go to the Apple store near you, they might be able to help at the Genius bar...I know that our Mac Store has a few bloggers on staff ( and it has helped)...just an idea from another techno un-geek...

Fran said...

good idea re the Apple peopel
(sorry to clog your space with my lame computer issues, dk).

Over & out on this issue

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: nowww MAYBE we're getting somewhere. When you Create or Edit a Post, do you see "Edit HTML" beside the "Compose" tab? I have never installed HTML Code either & that is why I cannot make a link in my comments. But I can link in posts which I assumed was because Blogger has its own HTML. The first time I tried to use that tab, I think it asked me to click on something & I did & since then I have been able to use it. That could be when all those magic buttons appeared, too? Maybe you will have to go to the Genius Bar Engima speaks of. Please order a triple-strength brain enhancer for me while you're there. I need it!

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: we just criss-crossed! You don't have lame computer issues. If you only knew how many times a day I bang my head on the keyboard & groan & give up. It is NOT intuitive to me. I'm more than happy to share any small info I have gleaned & hope it helps.

Larry and Enigma: I guess the women are a bit, ummm, voluptuous ... I like how confident, yet innocent, they appear. I hope Larry meant "whet", not "wet" ... or perhaps I should've put out champagne with the Mucha?

I just reworked my avatar. Does it look any clearer?

enigma4ever said...

Your Avatar looks great...wonderful....and it does remind me so much of you...And Fran- hey all of us have been struggling for years with Blogger- we all learn together- we all figure it out and so there is no reason to feel bad or that you are clogging anything up....we all need to learn and help each other...

The Genius Bar is great and as 6-6 says- he would love to have a Black T that says Genius on it....he thinks they are cool...( and Enigma feels like a giant idiot everytime we go..and 6-6 will not even stand with me in the store...so sad...)

Mucha was a genius, because he GOT Women....he understood that our soft curves and skin needed to be painted like it was beautiful...and embraceable...and he was quite the ladies man....and he loved the Theater ladies....I hope you found the Marguerite painting....

Anyways...thanks Dk...keep blogging it...

Spadoman said...

I'm on a Mac as well. Macs have some differences, but are generally much easier to decipher from the PC's as far as posting and editing. Problem is, you still have to learn how to do it. The proof of this is that if you notice, that I have no avatar. I am going to go and try and put one on my blog right now.

As for Muchas, I thought that was some sort of chocolate drink you get at the coffee shop.
Oh, that's right, that's a Mocha.
Now wait, I thought that was the Ojibwe word for the bear spirit, no, that's Maqua.

Oh, nevermind. I don't know a bit about art. Deke and Enigma have it all together on that front. You two will make me be able to identify a painting or two. I'll show off some day while in the Lourve by knowing the artists name and style. No, I won't be going to France any time soon:-)

Peace to All.

Spadoman said...

Okay. I did it. I have an Avatar. Click on it and it gets to be a larger size. You can see the blur in the background and my hair blowing in the wind. I was doin' around 70 in front of the Coffee Shop.

By the way, My Grandfather on my fathers side was named Alphonse. And like Capone, he is buried in Our Lady of Angels cemetery pretty darn close to Al.

I just noticed the Besama Mucha, great song.

enigma4ever said...

oh this is Great...good for you Spado...wonderful....

( DK see what you inspired ;-)

D.K. Raed said...

Wow, WHO was that nice guy who just flew past here on a Harley? careful you don't get a speeding ticket, SPADo-o-o-o-o-o .... (that's a 70mph doppler sound effect)!

Cool about your Grandpa Alphonse. I bet he gets some confused vistors in the Lady of Angels. But if he's anything like you (or visa versa), the visitors probably come away thinking, I never knew that Al Capone was such a nice guy!

Enigma: we simply MUST get Mr 6-6 a black GENIUS T-Shirt for xmas! In fact, one for you too, so you can embarrass him by wearing it next time you go into the store.

And Fran: you do not EVER clog up anything here, don't be silly. I just wish I could've been more help.

Fran said...

dk That is mighty hospitable of you, but I'm thinking- oh jeez, my lack of intermediate blog layout knowledge is being discussed in YOUR blog. But there is hope that you were able to make it happen... and it is probably something that if someone walked me through it I would bonk myself on the head and proclaim DOH!
But I am back to work & have less time & patience to tinker with said issues.

Thanks for your patience & thanks for suggestions everyone~ for now I remain linkless & Avatarless.
But I;ve been for all these years, so I will survive
; >