We move through the centuries artwork by artwork, starting way back in the 6th century. We see the slavic people rise from a vulnerable race into a powerful and well connected part of European geography, with many of the key figures that contributed to this transition being given leading roles within many of Mucha's paintings. Naturally, the artist would always paint his people, literally, in the best light possible but this is no different to how any other group of people reflect on their own personal histories. With regards this particular painting, Milíč of Kroměříž was someone who worked hard to improve the lives of the poor and was willing to confront establishment figures in order to help them as best he could.

The painting in front of us here captures the key figure dressed modestly, preaching to his willing subjects. Symbolically, he is stood on a building that is slowly being constructed by others in the artwork, and the purpose of this structure is to continue his good work for those in need. The information around his life suggests that many people turned their backs on unsavoury lives in order to help each other to take a more wholesome and moral direction and this was the man to encourage them to do so. He quickly gained more support from some notable figures who provided the necessary funds for several new buildings and services. Mucha here is pointing to a social change within his people, when previous paintings in this series had been about achieving and then protecting their own territory and power.

This artwork is dated at 1916 and measures 620cm tall by 405cm wide. The vast majority of the artworks within this series were landscape shaped, making this rare in that it is obviously long in format in order to best capture the building work. To place the figure high above everyone else also delivers an important symbolic value as well. The artist leaves a slightly mystic feel to this piece by not revealing the face of Jan Milic of Kromeriz, leaving him cloaked and with his back to us. This helps to add to the image of this figure who remains highly regarded within the history of the Slavic people and was therefore entirely deserving off his inclusion within this important body of work. The style of this series is very different to the illustrative work that Mucha is better known by many for, underlining the versatility and imagination of this important artist.

Jan Milic of Kromeriz in Detail Alphonse Mucha