On 24 July, Alphonse Mucha was born in Ivančice in south Moravia.
He studied at the Slavic (Slovanské) Grammar School in Brno.
He made his living as a scribe in Ivančice. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, but without success.
He was employed in Vienna in the Kautsky-Brioschi-Burghardt painting workshop, which produced stage scenery and theatre curtains, and later also became the workplace of Gustav Klimt. He got acquainted with the works of Hans Makart.
He worked for Count Eduard Khuen-Belasi, who became his first patron. He participated in the decoration the count’s Emmahof Château near Hrušovany nad Jeviškou and Gandegg Castle in Tyrol.
In the autumn of 1885 he left for Munich, where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. In November 1885 he joined Škréta, the association of Czech art students.
Thanks to the support of Count Khuen-Belasi, he travelled to Paris in the autumn, where he spent the following seventeen years. He studied at the Académie Julien.
In Paris, he enrolled in the Académie Colarossi.
He began to make his living as a sought-after illustrator, contributing to the magazines Zlatá Praha (Golden Prague) and Světozor.
He designed envelopes for the Parisian newspaper La Vie populaire. He established extensive illustrative collaboration with French publishers. His relationship with the theatre deepened. From 1890–1891 he participated in the publication of Le Costume au Théâtre with costume drawings and drawings of theatre scenes.
Mucha published his illustrations for the epic poem Adamité by Svatopluk Čech (publisher Šimáček in Prague). He created a calendar for Charles Lorilleux & Cie.
He started extensive collaboration with Sarah Bernhardt and designed posters, costumes, theatre stage sets and jewels for her over the next six years. In March he took part in a group exhibition in the Salon des Cent.
The Paris printing house Champenois took over the execution of all Mucha commissions. Mucha became a collaborator of the La Plume arts review and its exhibition room, the Salon des Cent.
Mucha’s first solo exhibition was commenced in the Galerie de la Bodinière in Paris on 15 February, and 5 June saw the commencement of Mucha’s solo exhibition in the Salon des Cent. The la Plume review published a special issue with reproductions of Mucha’s works and arranged for this exhibition to be repeated in Vienna, Prague, Munich, Brussels, London and New York. The artist’s fame grew thanks to his collaboration with Sarah Bernhardt and this travelling exhibition.
Mucha was admitted to the Paris masonic lodge Les Inséparables du progrés.
He travelled to the Balkans in connection with a commission of the Austro-Hungarian government to design decorations for the Pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900. On 20 December, Henri Piazza, in cooperation of the Champenois printing house, published the bibliophilic book Le Pater, in which Mucha rendered his own version of the textual and visual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer. He designed the poster Paris, 1900 for the Austrian display at the Paris Universal Exposition.
He carried out various commissions for the Paris Universal Exposition, within which he expressed himself as a leading personality at the turn of the century. He is the author of the overall concept of the Pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He designed the interior and façade for the shop of jeweller Georges Fouquet in Rue Royale, Paris.
He accompanied August Rodin on his journey to Prague and to Moravian Slovakia. He published his essential work Documents décoratifs, a pattern book with new decorative art.
He designed the stage set for the opera Libuše by Bedřich Smetana for the National Theatre in Prague.
In March and April, he undertook his first journey to the United States. He met Charles Richard Crane, a future patron of the Slav Epic, for the first time.
In January he departed aboard a ship to the United States, where he worked in short intervals until 1910. Figures décoratives, which were a follow-up to Documents décoratifs, came out in Paris. They brought examples of the involvement of the female figure in a geometrically defined area. In America he made his living by portraiture and teaching.
Mucha’s travelling exhibition took place in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston.
In October he produced designs for the German Theater in New York. When listening to the symphonic poem Vltava (The Moldau) by Bedřich Smetana at a concert of the Boston Philharmonic in the autumn, he decided to occupy himself with the significance of Slavic mutuality, the history of the Slavs and their position vis-à-vis other cultures.
He received an offer to decorate the Municipal House in Prague, which had been built based on the design of Antonín Balšánek and Osvald Polívka. At Christmas, Charles R. Crane agreed to finance the Slav Epic.
He returned to Bohemia, where he decorated the Mayor’s Hall of the Municipal House in Prague. He rented a flat and a studio in Zbiroh Castle from Count Hieronymus Colloredo-Mansfeld, where he painted a substantial part of the Slav Epic.
After finishing the Municipal House paintings, he started working on his first canvases of the Slav Epic.
He designed a poster for the 6th Sokol Festival (Slet) of the Czech Sokol Organisation. At the same time, it was the first festival of the Federation of Slavic Sokols.
He designed the first stamps, national coat-of-arms and a number of banknotes of the new state.
An exhibition of the first eleven canvases of the Slav Epic opened in the refectory of the Clementinum in Prague on 27 April.
The Art Institute in Chicago hosted an exhibition of the Slav Epic (15 June – 1 September).
An exhibition of the Slav Epic was held in the Brooklyn Museum.
Mucha contributed to a notable achievement of the Czech Masons at a meeting in Lausanne – establishment of the Supreme Council for Czechoslovakia. Mucha became “Sovereign Grand Commander”.
25 February saw the foundation meeting of the “Supreme Grand Lodge of Czechoslovakia” in Prague. Mucha published the book Zásady a cíle svobodného zednářství (“Principles and Objectives of Freemasonry”).
Mucha published the book Svobodné zednářství (“Freemasonry”).
On the occasion of the 8th Sokol Festival he prepared the festive play Slavic Brethren on the Vltava, containing some motifs from the Slav Epic.
Mucha moved with his family into a newly built villa in Prague-Bubeneč. On 21 September he handed the Slav Epic to Prague. It was displayed in the great hall of the Prague Sample Trade Fairs company.
Commissioned by the Slavia Bank, Mucha designed a window for Hora’s Chapel of St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle.
He published the book O lásce, rozumu a moudrosti (“On Love, Reason and Wisdom”). He made the painting Píseň (Song) for Prague’s Hlahol Society. The French government promoted him to Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honour.
The Jeu de Paume in Paris witnessed a joint retrospective exhibition of Alphonse Mucha and František Kupka. He published Tři projevy o životě a díle (“Three Talks on Life and Work”) as private printed matter.
He fell ill with pneumonia.
He died on 4 July after interrogation at the hands of the Gestapo. He is buried in the Slavín tomb at Vyšehrad Cemetery.