The Slav Epic

-By Jesper Ejsing


I have been a fan of Alphonse Mucha for very long. He is from Prague and I always wanted to go there and see the museum. But never seemed to get the chance or the excuse... not until last weekend.

When the Event Coordinators of Magic the gathering Grand Prix asked if I would come to Prague and sign magic cards during the tournament, I answered Yes, right away, in my mind I said “Mucha, Mucha, Mucha” over and over again. I even arranged for the travels to be a day in advance so I could spend the whole friday in the museum.

I dropped everything at the hotel and started walking through the old city. I found the museum, even without a map, and went in, stomach tingling and eyes wide open. “I have never been more disappointed. There was no originals, only framed posters and lithographs. And it was one little floor with three rooms. In the shop I bought some books and went home.


Turned out it was the wrong museum. It was a lithography and poster expo. Facebook is a fantastic place for getting help. As soon as I shared my error, a friend told me he would show me some real Mucha in my lunchbreak the next day.

He came around at one to pick me up and the other artist that was also signing cards, Seb Mckinnon join us without hesitation, when he heard where we was going. We picked up sandwiches, ate on the way rushed into the museum, less than 500m from the Magic show and BAM!
Slav epic hit me in the groin!

Look at the size of this!
Few have been the artwork that brings tears to my eye ( and it is always Krøyer ) but Muchas giant paintings brought me literally to my knees, laughing hysterically. I have never in my life seen more impressive paintings.

You can read all about Mucha and these paintings on the internet. I am not going to try to sound knowingly about any of this. But imagine what it feels like to be watching illustrations in oil on canvas 4 meters high and 8 meters wide.

I noticed right away how light the colors were. There was no black at all, and gone was the classic art nouveau shapes and twirls.

I think I will change my painting style and way of drawing after this experience. I cannot help but think how much time I have wasted fooling around with dark colors close to black for no reason at all. I will start sketching for more simple and solid shapes within my figures and add more drama to the poses. I will focus on building up paintings with less noise and more minimal silhouettes… In other words I will try to be more Mucha.

The dotted texture in the grey of the sky is all small dots of paint. ( the 2 women in the bottom are larger than me )
I wish every artist out there had a chance to go see these paintings. They are finally collected all together in Prague and will be in the Veletržní palác until the end of 2014.

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