The composition in front of us here is carefully sectioned into three different rows. The foreground across the bottom of the painting is filled with noble figures that are involved in the translation of the Bible, which is the main theme of this painting. There is then a large perimeter of a grand looking building, with several turrets and a selection of blossoming trees just below. We are therefore located just outside of the grounds, and perhaps that signifies peace time, where people can wander freely without concern. The top third of the artwork features a tall tower and then a wealth of light across a blue sky which continues this relatively positive mood. Mucha was highly skilled in accurately producing architectural features, but we do not see it that often within his career, because most focus tends to be on his famous illustrative posters, such as F. Champenois Imprimeur-Éditeur, Job Cigarettes and Sarah Bernhardt.

The Printing of the Bible of Kralice in Ivančice was completed in 1914 by this famous Czech painter who used a canvas which was over eight metres in width and six metres in height. This painting was the fifteenth of twenty within this series, and none would be larger than this one. He used egg tempera to produce all of these paintings, which was a surprising choice as oil had been used instead by most major artists since the end of the Italian Renaissance in around the 15th and 16th century. Perhaps, in choosing to depict historical content which goes back as far as the 6th century, it seemed appropriate for the artist to produce these paintings using a more traditional medium. That said, his work was placed on canvases rather than installed murals, meaning they could then be preserved and moved around far more easily.

This painting represents an important moment in the cultural development of the slavic people, as they attempt to improve the depth of education within their population. Here we find a small group of individuals known as Brethren scholars creating a version of the Bible which has been translated into the local Czech language. This allows religion and education to be more democratic and spread to lower levels of society, which was entirely their ambition. We are located in this artwork in the town of Ivančice, which was actually the birthplace of artist Mucha himself. The opportunity to produce your own version of religious scripture opens up the opportunity of forging your own culture and moving away from the controlling nature of foreign powers.

The Printing of the Bible of Kralice in Ivancice in Detail Alphonse Mucha