Born Alfons Maria Mucha, July 24, 1860, in Ivancice, Moravia, Austrian Empire (now Czech Republic), d. July 14, 1939, Prague, Czech. Art Nouveau painter, designer and poster artist.

Mucha's work is among the most recognizable from the Art Nouveau movement of the late 1800s-early 1900s. His speciality was the female form; beautiful and sensual women figure centrally in his most famous works, gloriously nude, or draped in diaphanous cloth, and surrounded by fabulous swirling long hair. Sarah Bernhardt was his most famous subject, appearing in the well-known Medea poster, among others.

His work regained popularity in the 1960s, and his posters have been in constant reprinting since then. In the 1990s-2000s, Mucha's work shows up in everything from postcard books to greeting cards. Numerous collections of his work are in print, and his influence is plain as far away as Japan, where several prominent mangaka go so far as to copy his layouts and poses. (see Kousuke Fujishima's "zodiac series" of Oh! My Goddess paintings)

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