Born in 1860, Alfons Mucha wanted to be an artist and began painting interiors in his native Bohemian Empire, now Czech Republic. He painted the interior of a castle for a Czech noble, then another and was sent to Paris to study art by Count Karl Khuen.
When he lived in Paris, he lived the high life, his place became the gathering place for artists; writers and gorgeous models. I love this photo of Paul Gauguin in Mucha's apartment; drink a little Absinth much!!
Mucha's sponsor eventually dried up and he was obliged to do ads, illustrations and design labels for a living. Here is his Moet and Chandon label.
Mucha became an overnight success when he began doing theater posters for hugely popular actress Sarah Bernhardt.