It is our pleasure to inform our colleagues from the Partage Plus team and all other Art Nouveau admirers about the superb acquisition of a body of works by Alphonse Mucha that will greatly enhance the Art Nouveau holdings in the Museum of Decorative Arts. Within the context of Partage Plus, selected artworks from the collection will be available in digital form via the Europeana portal.

A Unique Collection of Works by Alphonse Mucha Donated to the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague has received an extraordinary gift – a large group of illustrations and prints by Alphonse Mucha that has been generously donated to the museum by Vera Neumann, an art sponsor living in Switzerland. From the collection assembled together with her husband Lotar Neumann, Mucha’s original preparatory designs for his famous Le Pater book from 1899 have arrived in the Czech Republic. The donation contains the uniquely preserved, complete mockup of the book, complemented by a the exceptional first impresion of the book printed on Japan paper, as well as numerous preparatory sketches, studies and lithographic prints.
The ornamental and figural compositions for the Pater Noster, published in book form by Henri Piazza and Ferdinand Champenois in Paris, represent one of the peaks in Mucha’s oeuvre at the time. The artist explores in his illustrations a theme that is entirely different from his commercially successful theatrical and advertisements posters, rendering in them his theosophical concepts about Man’s spiritual path that liberates him from the bondage of the material world and leading him toward perfection and enlightenment. The compositions’ rich symbolism attests to Mucha’s profound interest in esoteric spiritual philosophy that resulted in his admission into a Masonic Lodge in 1898; that is, shortly before initiating work on the Le Pater.
The donated collection of more than seventy drawings, accompanied by a number of trial impressions, documents in great detail the genesis of this bibliophilic treasure of rare book publishing., providing a glimpse into Mucha’s creative process from the initial compositional layout to the final execution that served as a model for the printing of colour lithographs and heliogravures. The definitive version of the work is the exceptional first impresion of Le Pater with the exclusive number 1 that Mucha donated to his friend, the Czech-born Charles Freund-Deschamp, a paints manufacturer. The significance of the first printed impression with the mockup bound into the book is indicated by the fact that afterwards it was in the possession of Raymond Poincaré, President of the Third French Republic. Much later, in 1972, the collection as a whole was publicly presented at an auction in France, where it was sold as three separate lots most likely to different bidders. That same year, the Neumanns succeeded in acquiring and completing the dispersed parts. In collaboration with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Foundation Neumann presented the reassembled collection of Mucha’s illustrations for the Le Pater book in an independent exhibition mounted at Prague’s Municipal House in 2002. Now, thanks to the Neumann family, these artworks have returned permanently to the artist’s native country.
2015) 2014) 2013) 2012) 2011) 2010) 2009) 2008) 2007) 2006)
A Unique...) Just issued: From...) Play online game...) Exhibit from the...) IGA's Summer 2012...) During the...)
C2090-420 000-297 250-311 000-886 C2160-667 1Z0-053 Hp2-B29 000-890 1Z1-591 LOT-756 E20-555 000-M236 70-235 HP2-T23 A2150-536 SGO-001 A2010-571 RH302 642-091 070-639 000-373 E20-017 070-515 HP0-729 GCIA 650-059 HP2-B44 9A0-142 000-431 000-719 LOT-926 MD0-235 70-244 650-173 1Y0-200 EW0-200 CSM-001 50-565 SG1-001 050-676 COG-706 1Z1-877 MB3-465 MB3-701 NS0-120 070-552-Csharp 642-355 70-554-Csharp HP3-X11 920-257 C_TFIN52_65 090-077 TB0-115 98-365 P2090-025 1Z1-895 C2010-652 646-057 050-892 E20-830 000-971 EE0-602 050-864 GD0-110 70-271 090-056 642-533 920-133 HP0-264 000-N24 E20-326 642-996 646-046 BH0-005 922-080 642-164 HP2-Z25 HP0-781 C2140-130 70-330 BCP-410 1T6-215 642-747 HP0-045 070-501 000-863 MB6-509 920-431 HP0-D11 920-470 310-200 00M-640 C2080-474 70-552-VB 1Z1-868 MB3-409 50-690 000-962 EE0-505 M2020-248 000-M38 HP0-Y38 070-552-VB 70-667 4H0-110 70-518 E20-517 P6040-025 HP0-277 70-262