Alphonse Mucha, the Art Nouveau artist famous for his posters and decorative panels, which he designed at the turn of the century, devoted the second half of his prolific career primarily to painting. In addition to the twenty enormous murals from the history of the Slav people created between 1910 and 1918 in his studio at the Zbiroh castle in Bohemia, Mucha produced numerous portraits and symbolic paintings.
This eerie midnight scene under the frozen, snow-covered trees, reminiscent of a fairy tale, depicts an interaction between the larger-than-life spirit of winter and the smaller human being. Its exquisite draftsmanship and elusive charm recall Mucha's illustrations from the turn of the century. The nearly impressionistic painterly technique of short hatched lines applied in thin paints is typical of the canvases of the historic mural series The Slav Epic, contemporary with this work.
We are grateful to Dr. Anna Dvorák for preparing this catalogue entry.
Dr. Dvorák has confirmed the authenticity of the present work.