Alfons Mucha, Sara's protégé
Alfons Maria Mucha was born in a small Moravian village on July 24, 1860.
His talent as a singer led him to become a chorister in the city of Brno.
At 18, however, his voice changes for the worse and Alfons Mucha decides to devote himself to his other great passion: painting.
At the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, however, they strongly advise him to choose a different profession.
Mucha insists and, luckily, he meets Count Karl Khuen Belasi, who supports and finances him. He travels, even in Italy, gets educated and meets important people and moves to Paris.
In 1889 the count believes that his protégé has studied enough and suspends his aid. Alfons, to earn a living, offers himself as an illustrator of magazines, books, advertising for Parisian publishers, until his main stroke of luck: the “super” diva Sarah Bernhardt sees a poster designed by Mucha and hires him for 6 years.
Suddenly Alfons Mucha becomes famous and that's it: all companies turn to Sarah Bernhardt's illustrator for their needs.
One job after another Mucha gained fame and prosperity and returned to his native land. In 1939 Hitler invaded his beloved homeland; Mucha, arrested and questioned at 79, did not get over this insult and died shortly after.
He died before he had achieved his dream which, despite his success and international fame, was to be considered a "historical painter" and not the wonderful and imaginative draftsman and illustrator he was.
Andrea Giuseppe Fadini