Österreich auf der Weltausstellung, Paris 1900 [Austria at the International World's Fair, Paris 1900]
98.5 cm x 68 cm (38 3/4 in. x 26 3/4 in.)
(Ivancice, 1860 - 1939, Prague)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of John S. and Patricia A. Corcoran, 2000
Though Alphonse Mucha insisted, “Art is eternal, it cannot be new,” his work displays many hallmarks of the Art Nouveau style: curving lines, organic motifs, and a flattened, decorative quality. As a successful commercial artist in turn-of-the-century Paris, Mucha received numerous commissions in advance of the 1900 Paris World’s Fair. This poster was ordered by the Austro-Hungarian Rail Ministry to advertise travel by train to the Fair from Austria. In Mucha’s design, a young male figure unveils a female figure, representing “Paris revealing Austria to the world.” Mucha also created the pavilion décor for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which the Austro-Hungarian Empire had recently annexed; this project left the Czech-born artist conflicted.
More than fifty million people attended the 1900 Paris World’s Fair. It featured an exhibition surveying the last ten years of international art, including Symbolist artists Rodolphe Bresdin, Eugène Carrière, Fernand Khnopff, Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon, and Carlos Schwabe.