Alfons Mucha (1860-1939) was a painter, graphic artist, designer and leading figure of the French Art Nouveau.

Representation in collections: Gallery of the Capital City of Prague, Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové, Gallery of Fine Arts in Cheb, Gallery of Fine Arts in Náchod, Regional Gallery of Fine Arts in Zlín, Moravian Gallery in Brno, National Gallery in Prague, Regional Gallery, Hodonín, Regional Gallery, Jičín, West Bohemian Gallery in Pilsen

Alfons Mucha was not accepted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, so at the beginning of his career he worked as a painter of theater decorations of the Viennese company Kautský-Brioschi-Burghardt, then worked for Count Khueen, for whom he decorated the dining room of the castle in Hrušovany. He was so excited about his work that he paid for his studies at the Munich Academy. In 1887, Mucha moved to Paris, where he continued his studies at the Julian Academy and later at the Colarossi Academy. He continued to work independently, making a living mainly as an illustrator for Parisian publishers and magazines. The turning point in his work came in 1894, when he first created a poster for the actress Sarah Bernhardt, who was the star of the famous Theater de la Renaissance. After the huge success of the poster, Sarah Bernhardt collaborated with Mucha for another five years. Meanwhile, a wave of Art Nouveau swept over Paris. At the beginning of the 20th century, Mucha worked alternately in America and Paris. In the United States, he taught art and painted a variety of portraits, especially ladies from higher society. After his return to Bohemia in 1910, Mucha began working on a series of paintings ‚Slavic Epic’, stories from the past of Slavic nations, which he considered his masterpiece. It was a total of twenty large paintings - ten on Czech themes, ten on Slavic themes in general.

Mucha's work represents one of the most distinctive manifestations of European Art Nouveau art, for which the nickname Le styl Mucha was coined in Paris around 1900. It completes the burst of salon painting of the 19th century and opens the way to mass expression. It is expressed through esoteric symbolism as well as through emotionally communicative and mass-communicated symbols. Combining elements of Czech art, with its tendency to lyricism and interest in folk art, and Parisian art culture at the end of the century, Mucha found a distinctive expression, which does not represent a significant milestone or shift in modern art, but is a deep resonance of the time called Le Belle Epoque.