Crucifixion (c.1868)

This is one of Mucha's earliest known compositions made when he was about 8 years old.

It shows the influence of the Catholic Church even in his earliest days. Later he wrote of his childhood impressions in church at Easter: 'I used to kneel for hours as an acolyte in front of Christ's grave. It was in a dark alcove covered with flowers heavy with intoxicating fragrance and wax candles were burning quietly all round with a sort of sacred light which illuminated from below the martyred body of Christ, life-size, hanging from the wall in utmost sadness... How I loved to kneel there with my hands clasped in prayer. No-one in front of me, only the wooden Christ hanging from the wall, no-one who would see me shutting my eyes and thinking of God-knows-what and imagining that I am kneeling on the edge of a mysterious unknown figure.'

From his early childhood, the influence of the Catholic Church, especially its architectural beauty, music and mystic atmosphere, had a great impact on Mucha’s sensibilities. Musically talented, Mucha became a chorister at Petrov Cathedral in Brno at the age of 12.