The Bosnia Pavilion in white and terracotta with men and women in traditional Bosnian costume in foreground

Paris 1900 (24 works)

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.