Free

Book Presentation: The Slav Epic of Alphonse Mucha + Q&A with the Author

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Czech Center New York

321 East 73rd Street

New York, NY 10021

View Map

Event description
Presentation of the one-of-a-kind limited-edition book unveiling Mucha's magnificent Slav Epic in an unseen form.

About this Event

October 24, 7PM in the Cinema

The time has come for the spectacular cycle of paintings created by the Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, the Slav Epic, to be followed by a procession of prodigious books intended to honor his art. The Epic is a book created by a team led by the photographer Jan William Drnek, who used a unique technology with view to provide the most faithful reproduction of Mucha’s cycle.

Between 2017 and 2018 J. W. Drnek captured digital images of all twenty canvases, covering an average of 650 m2. Special lighting was used for each painting captured in 300 digital images. These high quality photographs allowed to use a resolution so fine, that based on a hand-tuned raster, a naked eye could not differentiate the details in the original from those in the printed reproductions. With a magnifying glass at hand, one can examine the painting in more depth than one ever could in an art gallery.

The book comprises a historical overview of the years Mucha spent painting this cycle, a short explanatory note for each painting and the background of how the book came into being. Each edition contains a certificate of authenticity.

A special case has been designed to protect it and to house the artefacts the book is equipped with. These account three stones selected for their origin related to various locations depicted in the Slav Epic cycle (marble from Mount Athos, red limestone from the Cikánka query nerar Prague and flint from the island of Rügen). The set includes a jewel with an embedded piece of amber designed by Mucha’s granddaughter Jarmila Mucha Plocková. The case also serves as a stand to support the book and allows to leaf through it at one’s ease.

This publication and its components representing the Slav Epic can be considered as a piece of art. Each element of each set is based on a harmonic concept that brings it all together. This close encounter with the Epic is a unique experience for the viewer’s eye and a seeking soul.

The book’s dimensions

The book measures 62 cm × 42 cm. Dimensions specifically chosen for the book, in order for it to replicate the size (610 cm x 810 cm) of the largest canvases in the cycle, once opened. Due to the book’s large-format, machine-binding was not possible, and instead the publication was hand-bound in the Czech Republic.

Alphonse Mucha

Through his work Alphonse Mucha contributed greatly to creating the image of the First Republic. As a patriot and keen political thinker, he always regarded his art as a means to serve his homeland. His life story and work is, however, inherently associated with the United States of America and the patron Charles Charles Crane. Mucha painted The Slav Epic, a series of large-scale oil paintings summarizing Slav history, at Zbiroh Chateau for eighteen years. However, without the support of Charles Richard Crane, the work would probably never come to life. An American businessman and philanthropist met the painter in New York City and decided to fund Mucha's project. He also agreed that all twenty canvases will be dedicated to the City of Prague once they are finished. Mucha expressed his gratitude by incorporating his portrait of Josephine Crane Bradley, his patron´s daughter, as Slavia in his design for the first Czechoslovak 100 koruna banknote.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Czech Center New York

321 East 73rd Street

New York, NY 10021

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved