Art Nouveau hand-painted porcelain portrait brooch. Looks similar to 1897 Alphonse Mucha-portrait of Mucha's famous Byzantine brunette woman The white porcelain highlights the gorgeous colors: wonderful unique piece. Very good condition please look at all photographs before making purchase. Vintage item from 1900 - 1909Materials: Hand painted Victorian porcelain, Brass back, Brass C clasp and pin stemOnly ships to United States *Notes Alphonse Maria Mucha was born in the town of Ivanice, Moravia (a region of the Czech Republic). In 1871, Mucha was a chorister at the Saint-Peters Cathedral in Brno, where he received his secondary school education. It is there that he had his first revelation, in front of the richness of Baroque art. During the four years of studying there, he formed a friendship with Leos Jancek who would become the greatest Czech composer of his generation. Although his singing abilities allowed him to continue his education through high school in the Moravian capital of Brno, drawing had been his main hobby since childhood. He worked at decorative painting jobs in Moravia, mostly painting theatrical scenery. In 1879, he relocated to Vienna to work for a major Viennese theatrical design company, while informally augmenting his artistic education. When a fire destroyed his employer's business during 1881 he returned to Moravia, to do freelance decorative and portrait painting. Count Karl Khuen of Mikulov hired Mucha to decorate Hruovany Emmahof Castle with murals, and was impressed enough that he agreed to sponsor Mucha's formal training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts.Jaroslava, the artist's daughterMucha moved to Paris in 1887, and continued his studies at Acadmie Julian and Acadmie Colarossi. In addition to his studies, he worked at producing magazine and advertising illustrations. About Christmas 1894, Mucha happened to go into a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected need for a new advertising poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris, at the Thtre de la Renaissance on the Boulevard Saint-Martin. Mucha volunteered to produce a lithographed poster within two weeks, and on 1 January 1895, the advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou was posted in the city, where it attracted much attention.F. Champenois Imprimeur-diteur, lithograph, 1897Bernhardt was so satisfied with the success of this first poster that she began a six-year contract with Mucha.Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewelry, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was termed initially The Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau (French for "new art"). Mucha's works frequently featured beautiful young women in flowing, vaguely Neoclassical-looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed halos behind their heads. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors.Mucha's style was given international exposure by the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris, of which Mucha said, "I think [the Exposition Universelle] made some contribution toward bringing aesthetic values into arts and crafts." He decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Pavilion and collaborated with decorating the Austrian Pavilion. His Art Nouveau style was often imitated. The Art Nouveau style however, was one that Mucha attempted to disassociate himself from throughout his life; he always insisted that rather than maintaining any fashionable stylistic form, his paintings were entirely a product of himself and Czech art. He declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message, and nothing more; hence his frustration at the fame he gained by his commercial art, when he most wanted to concentrate on more artistic projects.
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