Alphonse Mucha has long been one of my favorite artists. His beautiful Art Nouveau ladies are always elegant, demure, mysterious, and captivating. When I heard that there was a museum dedicated to him, I had to seek it out. On a small side street just off of Wenceslas Square, I found it.
The museum is bright. That was the first thing I noticed. The second was that it was small. I was instantly disappointed, hoping to spend my entire day with Mucha. But as I began to walk through the museum, I realized my stay would be much longer. His many portraits and advertisements of unknown women and the famed Sarah Bernhardt, which I had only seen as small posters and postcards, are actually enormous, larger-than-life paintings.
I never realized how deep his art was. It is so much more than pretty girls in flowing dresses. You truly see what a master he is after standing next to his painting of Medea . You can see the horror in her eyes as she stands over her slain children. It was not art, it was real life.
They also have a collection of the photographs he took of his models posing in his studio in their togas, the clutter of an artist's workspace crowding behind them. There was also a beautiful painting he did of a snowy night.
If you are a Mucha fan, you absolutely cannot miss this beautiful collection. Make sure to stop by the gift shop, too. They have a huge collection of Mucha postcards, which make great collages to hang on the wall. They also have a lot on unusual Mucha-esque gifts. Even if you have never heard of Mucha (which is impossible if you spend even a day in Prague), I encourage you to see this. It is a lovely way to spend a quiet afternoon not fighting tourists.