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ALPHONSE MUCHA (Czechoslovakian, 1860-1939)
Les Fleurs (Rennert, Weill, 49, Var 1), circa 1898
Color lithographs
40 x 16-1/4 inches (101.6 x 41.3 cm) (each image)
42 x 18-1/4 inches (106.7 x 46.4 cm) (each sheet)
Three signed lower right, one signed lower left in plate: Mucha
Published by La Plume, Paris, 1898
Printed by F. Champenois, Paris

Suite of four includes: The Rose, The Iris, The Carnation, and The Lily.

Condition Report*:

All framed under glass; Each lithograph: minor surface soiling visible in margins, possible faint discoloration of paper, light toning along extreme edges, and scattered spots of foxing, most notably on paper verso. The Rose: Approx. 1.75-inch repaired tear at far right extreme bottom edge; 3 small repaired tears along upper extreme left edge; tiny loss to lower left corner; small crease in upper left corner. The Carnation: Scattered spots of skinning and an approx. 1-inch repaired tear along extreme bottom edge; approx. 1.25-inch repaired tear at far left extreme top edge. The Lily: Small pinhole puncture at upper right edge of image; light handling creases along extreme top edge. Framed Dimensions 45 X 21 Inches

Mucha, Alphonse:Born in Ivancice, Moravia, Alphonse Mucha was determined to become a painter when he graduated high school, despite his father’s disapproval, and left to study at the Academie Julian in Paris in 1887 through the generosity of a patron in Moravia. After several years of painting murals for his benefactor, Mucha’s funding ceased, and he was left a struggling artist in Paris, eventually falling deathly ill as a result of his poor diet. Upon recovery, he shared a studio space with fellow artist Paul Gauguin, and the two spent much of their time together traveling and exchanging creative feedback. This collaboration helped fortify Mucha’s vision, and his compositions began to exhibit more and more of an ornamental quality, with byzantine inspired mosaic backgrounds and a balance of realistic and stylized elements. Using natural color palettes to complement his highly decorative drawing technique, Mucha defined his own concept of the Woman as a motif—in theme as well as in form. His revolutionary taste for sensuous, organic curves and forms intertwined with lush flora eventually caught the attention of actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1895, who signed him on a six year contract to produce stage and costume designs, as well as posters for her shows. With this commission, Mucha’s reputation as a graphic artist was established and the exposure of his talents to a wider audience brought him rapid fame. Nevertheless, Mucha remained a virtuoso of many trades throughout his career, also spending time creating intricate jewelry, furniture, wallpaper and interiors in addition to the posters, drawings and paintings that made him a household name. Accordingly, despite his own personal rejection of the connection, Mucha’s proclivity to transform everyday materials into works of art would forever affiliate his name with the Art Nouveau movement.

*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
June, 2013
15th Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 2,684

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