What Is Art Nouveau?
Original lithograph printed in five colors (beige, dark olive, carmine red, gray olive, gold) on wove poster paper.
Signed on the stone lower left Mucha.
A superb, richly printed impression of the original version of this lithograph (apart from two later variations). Published Leon Deschamps, La Plume, Paris; printed by F. Champenois, Paris.
Catalog: Rennert/Weill 12: Malhotra 628; Bridges A7.
Publisher: F. Champenois
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, based in Paris, France