Prague only wanted to “publish” it, but South Moravia likes its Mucha. They also discovered his beautiful early frescoes, which are created after consultation with a local room painter
Photo: With the permission of the mayor of Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou Miroslav Miloš
Caption: Detail of a fresco by Alfons Mucha at the town hall in Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou in the Znojmo region
As far as Alfons Mucha is concerned, Krajské listy.cz is convinced that Epopej is now where it should be, in South Moravia. In Prague, Mucha has just made a business item for tourists, in addition, there are more than enough monuments. On the other hand, South Moravia considers the famous native damn well. Moravský Krumlov Castle underwent a demanding reconstruction due to the Epic, although from the photos it looks as if the giant works there were a bit crowded, above all it is only the love and admiration that they obviously feel for Mucha here. And with that, a bit greedy Prague can’t cope. And not only the Epic can be seen in South Moravia now. In September, a gala evening took place for the return of the Slavic epic Alfons Mucha and the signing of a memorandum on the origin of the Mucha Trail. It contains many interesting stops.
The famous and phenomenal Epic arrived in Moravský Krumlov at the turn of this year’s holidays. In the first month, the exhibition was visited by 13,100 people. The move to Moravský Krumlov was also conditioned by the creation of an environment for such an important work by Alfons Mucha. The whole reconstruction, which aimed to create a suitable humidity and temperature in Krumlov Castle so that 20 huge plains would not be damaged, cost the city 60 million crowns. The investment is definitely good. Moravský Krumlov has borrowed canvas from Prague for five years, but we firmly believe that Epopej moved to Krumlov permanently.
Slavic epic at the castle in Moravský Krumlov. Photo of the town of Moravský Krumlov
In addition to exhibiting 20 canvases with the Slavonic Epic, the region decided to create the Mucha Trail. Thanks to her, a memorandum was created between Moravský Krumlov, Ivančice, the region and the Mucha Foundation. The trail is to lead to the places where the master acted and where he left behind a unique work of his art. And they are definitely not small and insignificant works. On the contrary, who is a young artist who has become one of the most famous Czech painters in the world. Therefore, in this article we will focus only on the early years of Mucha’s work, which is firmly connected with South Moravia. But first we have to put things in order. It is known that in the Czech Republic and in Moravia every second village has a chateau or castle, but Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou has three, which at first confused us a lot.
Before signing the memorandum on the creation of the Mucha Trail. The memorandum was signed by representatives of Moravský Krumlov and Ivančice, the governor of the South Moravian Region and the grandson of the painter John Mucha. Photo of the town of Moravský Krumlov
Discovery of the century – Mucha’s frescoes
The frescoes of young Mucha are / were located in three buildings. Today’s town hall-former Kammelhaus chateau, or also New chateau, which belonged to Dominika Kammel-Hardegg, next is the chateau Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou-seat of the Kammel-Hardegg family, who can reconstruct the town hall, the third chateau is a kilometer away in the cadastre of Šanov, his name is Emmahof or Emin zámeček, who had the play Eduard Khuen-Belassi near Hrušovany built for his wife Emanuel, see below.
Today’s town hall in Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou, the so-called Kammelhaus or Nový zámek, was built in 1885 by the naturalist Dominik Kammel-Hardegg, the second noble son, therefore without a title. The house remained in the family’s possession until 1930. In July 1941, the registry office moved to Kammelhaus, which functioned there until the end of World War II. After 1945, a school, the MNV, was located here, now the Kammelhaus functions as a town hall and is used by the town hall. Photo of the city Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou
Hrušovanský Mucha beginner
The town hall in Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou in the Znojmo region can be proud of one unique thing. People who go there like to talk to the mayor. Why? They can stare at the unique decoration that came from Alfons Mucha. It was in Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou and its surroundings that Mucha received his first large order for ceiling frescoes. The funny thing is that when the young Alfons Mucha accepted the job, he didn’t really know how to do it. “A father who had never worked with this technique interviewed a local room painter and set to work. Mainly not to miss the opportunity. He believed that the fate that gave it to him would also give him inspiration on how to proceed, “says the painter’s son Jiří Mucha in the book Kankán with a halo. And so Mucha evoked beautiful frescoes at the Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou chateau and the so-called New Chateau, of which the town hall is today. Both castles belonged to the noble Kammel-Hardegg family.
City Hall lobby with Mucha’s frescoes on the ceiling, photo courtesy of Miroslav Miloš
What about the frescoes by the famous painter Alfons Mucha today? During the previous regime, which was not very open to beauty, Mucha’s frescoes were covered with lime and paint. Now, with great effort, the local town hall is gradually uncovering and restoring unique paintings in its main building, the New Castle. “These are Mucha’s first works, he decorated the chateau near Hrušovany and then this house, where the office is located. We gradually uncover the ceilings according to the money, one room costs approximately 500,000 crowns, it depends on the size, it is ant work. In the meeting room, the painting is rather larger. We are very happy that we have frescoes here, it is a peculiarity that no one will take away from us, “said Eliška Volná, the city’s deputy mayor for the List.
Detail of fresco, photo courtesy of Miroslav Miloš
“We have been unveiling them gradually since 2016. After the mayor’s office, lobby and office office, the restorers have now completed the repair in the new meeting rooms,” Mayor Miroslav Miloš told Aha. It is interesting that the painting originally decorated the dance hall. It later became a town hall and was divided into several rooms. And that is exactly what the current town hall has to deal with and discover the magnitude of Mucha’s intervention in the beautiful house.
The beautiful ceiling is the work of young Mucha, photo courtesy of Miroslav Miloš
As for the Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou chateau, the unveiling of the frescoes is still waiting there. The castle is now completely under reconstruction, because its condition was a bit unfortunate. “We have to start the repair, the intervention is necessary, the beams in the ceilings are already falling out,” the mayor Miroslav Miloš explained the actual condition of the chateau, adding that they are also renovating the frescoes by Alfons Mucha, who he left here.
As can be seen from the photo, the Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou chateau needs to be reconstructed like salt. Photo Association for the Hrušovany chateau
Krajské listy.cz searched and found out that Count Eduard Khuen-Belassi had first hired Mucha to decorate his chateau near Hrušovany, which was given the poetic name Emin chateau. Unfortunately, the decoration was not preserved, after the Second World War Emin castle was burned by flames.
Unfortunately, the then complete decoration of Alfons Mucha was not preserved at the Emina chateau, because a fire broke out in the chateau in 1948 and the original interior was destroyed. Today, the chateau houses a social institute. Photo Social services Šanov
And what did Emin decorate Mucha Castle with? Edvard Khuen-Belassi had a neo-baroque castle built for his wife Emanuel Khuen-Belassi, née Kammel-Hardegg. Thus, Emin chateau, originally Emin Dvůr, Emín or Emmahof, got its name. It lies barely a kilometer from Hrušovany. Unfortunately, the then complete decoration of Alfons Mucha was not preserved, because in 1948 a fire broke out in the castle and the original interior was destroyed. As the employees of the social institute, which is now based here, told Krajské listy, about two years ago, conservationists searched to see if anything had survived from Mucha after the catastrophic fire, unfortunately with a negative result. We only found out on the website of the Semerád boarding house: “One of the few remnants of his work is a publicly accessible mythological depiction of Zefír and Nymph.” The director of the Boskovick Museum himself kindly called us and led us to a local expert on Mucha, Dr. Fadingerová: – in the Governor’s Palace on Moravské náměstí. “
Interior with unpreserved Mucha decorations at Emina Castle. Behind the table you can see where the originally painted screen by Alfons Mucha stood. Today it can be seen in the Moravian galleries. Photo Moravian Gallery in Brno
This only screen has been preserved, photo by the Moravian Gallery in Brno
The loser who played the second violin
Alfons Mucha was born on July 24, 1860 in Ivančice, South Moravia, into the family of a court employee as the fourth of six children. And since his father had already sent Alfons three older siblings to study, there was no family left for Alfons to embark on a student career. His father had a saving thought. They will make Alfonso a fundatist. This is a student whose needs are fully met by the monastery. Alfons went to Father Křížkovsky in the Old Brno Monastery. Křížkovský was enthusiastic about Mucha, but he could not accept him, because before that he had accepted a Leoš Janáček as a fundatist (he also did not feel bad :-)) In the end, Alfons really stayed, because as a child he had a beautiful alto. After a few years, however, when he began to mutate, he had to give up his position as a singer and instead played the second violin at figural masses.
Mucha’s oldest surviving drawing, which actually resulted in his eight years. Crucifix, proves the influence the church had on his life at the time. Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Then Mucha entered the grammar school. But his benefit was negligible. He repeated the second and third years, in the end he was completely expelled from high school. He therefore moved back to Ivančice, where he became a court reporter. But he didn’t stay long either. His passion for drawing was unmanageable. So he embellished his entries at least with decorative initial letters. He stumbled upon when three gypsies were being tried. Instead of writing them down, he simply painted them very faithfully in court papers. Which the court appreciated by saying goodbye to Mucha.
A scenic painter in Vienna
Coincidentally, at that time young Mucha came across an advertisement by Kautsky-Brioschi-Burghard, which was looking for a set painter. Mucha was accepted and traveled to Vienna. He finally found his job. But not for long. Two years later, one of Vienna’s largest theaters, the Ringtheater, was engulfed in fire. So powerful and fast that he spent not only the whole theater, but with him about 500 spectators who were just inside. The tragedy also affected Mucha. He was fired as one of the younger and shortly recruited employees.
Mucha in a photograph by the American photographer George R. Lawrence from 1906 – it was then a world-famous painter for 46 years and was at the top of his professional career. Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Scandal in Mikulovice
And so another trip to his native Moravia followed. But his stay in Vienna gave Much a lot. He fidgeted, learned the guitar, and gained confidence. He took it through the Austrian town of Laa, where he painted the ruins there. However, the town of Laa disappointed her, she went to Mikulov in Moravia for the last money, and there he climbed into the local bookstore with an empty pocket, where he tried to sell a painting of a ruin. The local bookseller Thiery did not reject him. He gave him five gold coins for it, which was a lot of money for Mucha. And he was thrilled. Start portraying the locals.
He wore all the portraits to Thiery. And he was looking forward to the money. But you didn’t come. And so Mucha went to the bookseller. For him, Mucha found the uproar his image had caused. He had painted the wife of a local doctor, which in itself would have been nothing special if he had not added a note under the drawing of Thiera with the inscription “For five gold in the Hotel U Lva”. He tries to explain the scandal and, as a result, brought Much money as well – everyone knew that a painter had settled in the city. And it was there that Count Eduard Khuen-Belasi learned about him.
The path that is being created is sanctified by a memorandum between Moravský Krumlov, Ivančice, the region and the Mucha Foundation, which will lead to these places, and the painter’s works will also be part of the planned Mucha’s path. “A number of famous names come from South Moravia, which we can be proud of. However, Alfons Mucha is one of the most important. I believe that our joint activities will contribute to the further popularization of this phenomenon. Alfons Mucha deserves it, “said Jan Grolich, Governor of Drbna.
Entered by: Kamil Fára