Works by Czech art maestro on show in Shanghai

By Cao Chen in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-19 07:53
A poster for Gismonda from 1894(color lithograph). [Photo provided to China Daily]

Born in 1860 in Ivancice in the south Moravian region of the Czech Republic, Mucha rose to fame in the late 19th century for designing theatrical posters for Sarah Bernhardt, France's most famous actress at the time. The color lithograph poster Gismonda, which can be found in the Shanghai exhibition, is one of his most recognized works about the actress.

Marcus Mucha, Mucha's greatgrandson and the representative of the Mucha Foundation, shared a story he heard from his family during his recent visit to the exhibition.

He recalled that it was around Christmas in 1894 when Bernhardt asked her printer to create a new poster for her, but as all her regular poster artists in France were on vacation, she was forced to turn to Mucha who later created Gismonda for her.

Gismonda appeared all over Paris on the first day of 1895 and it went on to become an instant hit. The work resulted in Bernhardt offering Mucha a six-year contract to produce her posters and stage and costume designs.

"The poster is a family legend for us," says Marcus Mucha.

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