What Is Art Nouveau?
Original lithograph printed in colors on wove paper.
Signed and dated on the stone lower left Mucha/99.
A superb, richly printed impression of the original version of this rare poster (there were two subsequent versions made with slight variations in the lower text). Commissioned by Moët & Chandon; published and printed by F. Champenois, Paris.
Catalog: Rennert/Weill 65.a; Bridges A40
In excellent condition, with bright, fresh colors, printed on a full sheet.
Literature regarding this artwork: Arthur Ellridge, Mucha: The Triumph of Art Nouveau, Terrail, Paris, 1992, p. 89 (ill.); Victor Arwas / Jana Brabcova-Orlikova / Anna Dvorak, Alphonse Mucha The Spirit of Art Nouveau, Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia, 1998, no. 28a, p. 168 (ill.); Sarah Mucha, Alphonse Mucha: Celebration of the Creation of the Mucha Museum, Prague, Malcolm Saunders Publishing Ltd, London, 2000, P. 52 (ill.); Rosalind Ormiston, Alphonse Mucha Masterworks, Flame Tree Publishing, London, 2007, p. 29 (ill.).
Alphonse Mucha is synonymous with Art Nouveau, a style of fine art, decorative art, and architecture that broke with the academicism of the 19th century in favor of florid lines inspired by the natural environment. A lithographed advertising poster he was commissioned to create for a play featuring the celebrated actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1894 catapulted him out of obscurity and brought him instant success as a commercial artist. Rendered in pale pastels, much of his work depicts beautiful young women draped in Neoclassical robes set amidst flowers, feathers, and other sensuous natural forms. He was celebrated not only for illustrating advertising posters, but also for painting, book illustrations, sculpting, and designing theater sets, jewelry, and wallpaper.
Czech, 1860-1939, Ivančice, Czech Republic