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Chapter 10 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Lucid Dream Art Gallery (9)

"Do you mean to tell me to finish this painting now?"

"How dare I, of all people, lay a hand on Alphonse Mucha's painting?"

"Even in a dream, this is not right. It's like blasphemy."

"I wouldn’t dare."

"Didn’t you say you finished your art studies?"


It's not that I lack the skill to continue.

I have even copied some of his paintings before. I worked part-time for a company that sold these reproductions, knowing full well they were fakes, but some buyers wanted the texture of the brush strokes, so I painted them by hand.

I was quite good at copying, so much so that I was offered a full-time position, but as someone dreaming of being a pure artist, I was content with just the part-time job.

I hesitated, not knowing what to do.

But think about it, who wouldn’t want the honor of touching Mucha's painting, and who could have the chance to complete it under his guidance?

This experience is more precious and valuable than any lesson. I swallowed hard and sat down, cleaning my brush.

Mucha gestured and said,

"It would be good to mix a little of Delo Blue and Van Dyke Brown."

Which part is he talking about?

Where in this happy family picture would the colors he mentioned fit? Mixing blue and brown would create a color close to grey. Of course, it would be a darker, more luxurious tone than the typical grey.

I swallowed hard again and asked,

"Is it the color of father’s suit?"

Mucha smiled and replied,

"No, it's the color of the dishes."

Ah, what a fool I am.

The only place in such a bright picture that would include grey tones is the dishes. Embarrassed, I quickly mixed the paints and with trembling hands started adding the color. I was confident in my skills, so by the time I was painting the second fork, my hand had stopped shaking.

Mucha watched my work and nodded.

He didn't say anything, but I felt proud and confident just seeing him nod out of the corner of my eye.

I pointed to the mother's dress in the center of the painting and said,

"It seems we should paint this area first to set the mood, as it’s the focal point of the painting."

"That's a good point."

"What color should we use for the dress mom is wearing?"

"Let's try Alizarin Crimson."

A choice befitting Alphonse Mucha.

A vibrant color, close to purple rather than just red. Using this color, the mother, the centerpiece of the painting, will stand out the most in the family of four.

Mucha uses thick outlines and doesn’t blend the edges of colors as other painters do, so using bold colors is not a problem.

Excitedly, I continued painting and asked,

"Looking at the style, it seems more like commercial art than pure art. Do you still paint like this?"

I had heard that in his later years, he feared being remembered only as a commercial artist.

The Slavic Epic was also said to be a painting borne out of such sentiments, according to a professor. But why would he choose to paint something akin to commercial art in his final moments?

I cautiously asked,

"Is this a commissioned piece?"

Mucha adjusted his glasses and shook his head.

"I haven't taken commissions for a very long time."

Right, he didn’t do commercial art for the 20 years he was completing the Slavic Epic.

He would have done the same even in his final moments. But what about this painting?

"So why this painting..."

Mucha looked at the painting with a smile.

"Because it’s a painting that made me who I am today."

His style, famous enough to be a synonym for 'Mucha Style.'

His Slavic Epic, painted later, was impressive, but what is globally known are the paintings done in this technique. In his youth, he had tremendous commercial success with these styles.

Perhaps the reason he could focus solely on the Slavic Epic for 20 years, not doing anything else, was because of the money he made in his youth with this style?

If he had been struggling to make ends meet, he wouldn't have had the luxury to dedicate 20 years to a painting that wouldn’t bring immediate financial gain. Moreover, didn’t he donate the Slavic Epic to the city of Prague without selling it? Such an act was possible because he had the financial freedom.

And all this was thanks to the commercial art he was painting now.

In his final moments, Mucha chose to paint something that had shaped his current self. Such a choice was just like him.

"That's right."

I nodded and added color as he directed. Even though as a painter I'm never quite satisfied with just coloring someone else's drawing, if one knows who this elderly man sitting before me and instructing is, no one would dare say such a thing.

After painting every part as instructed, all that remained were the four circles in the painting, the overall light and shade treatment, and the wallpaper.

Looking at the position of the circles, they seemed to be a round window, a wall clock, and frames. The last one was a pattern on the hem of my mother's dress.

“What about this?”

“Will you give it to me?”

Ah, he seems to want to finish it himself. After all, it's his painting, so that's only natural.

I stood beside him like a eunuch next to the king, holding all kinds of brushes for him, unsure which one he would use.

I even had a knife tucked at my side, just in case. Mucha reached out his hand and said.

“Please hand me the number 30 brush.”

The number 30 brush is the thickest among brushes used for oil and acrylic paintings.

He seems to be planning to fill in the background of the circles.

After handing him the brush and squeezing the paint he wanted onto the palette, Mucha tapped the palette lightly with the brush and picked up some paint. I didn't want to miss even a small movement of his, so I couldn't take my eyes off him.

Usually, in modern paintings, the background color is completely filled in and dried before drawing the picture on it, but Mucha was different.

He painted the background color as if there were already pictures within the empty circles, moving delicately. And before the paint even dried, he outlined them with a number 10 brush.

They were flowers and vines.

A garden unfolded in the large round window visible from the living room. Staring blankly at the painting being rendered in magical colors by his hand, I lost myself in thought.

'This is Alphonse Mucha.'


It's a cliché, but when admiring a work of art, the saying 'you see as much as you know' couldn't be more accurate.

If you simply look at a painting and move on, you only notice the colors, composition, expressions of the characters, backgrounds, and props with your eyes. But if you take more interest and study these elements, understanding their symbolism and the background of the artwork, then the work starts to convey a different meaning and feeling.

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