The Slav Epic is a series of large paintings by artist Alfons Mucha. It’s quite different to his usual Art Nouveau work, which you’ll probably recognise below.
Obecní dům is a spectacular building and always worth a visit. The Mucha exhibition is in two large rooms on the third floor – there is an elevator although I think you need to ask to use it as nothing happened when we pressed the call button.
Mucha spent years (1910 and 1928) working on the Slav Epic and considered it his greatest work. A series of 20 canvases depict the mythology and history of Czechs and other Slavic peoples. 11 of the smaller(!) canvases are included in the exhibition.
The canvases are huge, I can only imagine what the larger (8.10 x 6.10 m) paintings look like.
There is some controversy surrounding the Slav Epic. Mucha donated all 20 paintings to the City of Prague on condition that the city build a special pavilion to display them. The Nazi and Soviet occupations meant that no such pavilion was built and for some time the canvases lay rolled up in the basement of a chateau in Moravský Krumlov.
Prague took ownership in 2010, upsetting the people of Moravský Krumlov plus some conservationists and art historians. The controversy increased when Prague decided to loan the paintings to be exhibited in Japan – they were rolled for transport.
It’s an interesting exhibition – tickets perhaps a little expensive, particularly as the paintings were donated. More pictures at the end of this article.
The Slav Epic
Obecní dům, a.s.
náměstí Republiky 1090/ 5
111 21, Praha 1 – Staré Město
+420 222 002 101
19/7/2018 to 13/1/2019 – open daily
Adult: 250 Kč
Child/Students/Seniors: 100 Kč
Family: 500 Kč