The Slav Epic
Fuck Yeah Alphonse Mucha
A McFandrew Joynt
Alphonse Mucha: The Slav Epic - Slavs in their Original Homeland - Between the Turanian Whip and the sword of the Goths (Alfons Mucha: Slovanská Epopej - Slované v pravlasti - mezi turanskou knutou a mečem Gótů), 1912
Oil and Egg Tempera on canvas (8,10 x 6,10 m)
This is the first painting (out of 20) from the series called The Slav Epic where Alphonse Mucha depicted the history and mythology of Slavic nations (but mostly Bohemia and Moravia).
There are three major parts noticeable in the painting. The first are the two people in the lower left side. They are symbolical Adam and Eve of slavic nations. They’re huddled together in fear, hiding from the fire of the battle in the background. On the left side we can see flames from what we assume is a village. In the battlefield behind we can see how cruel and merciless the war is. The third (and probably the most prominent) part is the levitating trinity on the right side. The man in the middle - Slavic priest, which we can see from the ritual sword and other paraphernalia - has his arms spread in welcoming embrace. It is yet another christian symbol, the figure is evoking crucifix. On the priest’s right side is a young soldier - the only soldier on the painting who is portrayed positively. He symbolizes the strength of Slavic nations and the need we will have to defend ourselves against raiders and foreign nations (in this case Goths and Turks, but it is referring to Germans and Hungarians too). On the priest’s left side is a very young girl wearing a wreath symbolizing peace and serenity.
One of my favorite parts of the painting is the sky. The stars look amazing. The Slav Epic is definitely worth seeing live because there is lot of detail lost in small reproductions like this.