Lot 107: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). CASSAN FILS. 1896. 68x26 inches, 173x68 cm. Cassan Fils, Toulouse.

Swann Auction Galleries

January 26, 2017, 1:30 PM EST
New York, NY, US
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Description: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) CASSAN FILS. 1896.
68 1/4x26 1/8 inches, 173 1/2x68 3/8 cm. Cassan Fils, Toulouse.
Condition B+: water stain in lower right corner; repaired tears and creases in margins and image and along vertical and horizontal folds; speckling along seam. Two-sheets. Framed. Unexamined out of frame.
Cassan was once the largest and most important lithographer in Southwest France. This poster, Mucha''s elaborate and exquisite self-advertisement for the printer, features a seamless blend of printing imagery with fantasy. "The muscular printer is an allegorical figure, representing the [printing] industry. An unusual border of eyes in the mosaic background probably is meant to indicate the multitude of readers for whom the printing trade works. It is also one of the mystic symbols used by Mucha in several other works" (Rennert / Weill p. 70). The young lady is herself representative of the public that patronizes printers. In a brilliant self-referential detail, this woman, marked by her beauty, a state of semi-undress and stylized cascading hair, is pulling prints straight off the press that feature other young women with equally flowing locks - as if Mucha were indicating how his archetypical treatment of female tresses was about to take over the industry. This is the large format. Rennert / Weill 11, Lendl p. 109, Mucha / Bridges A24, Reims 897, Brno 25, Mucha Grand Palais 25, Mucha / Henderson 74, Triumph des Jugendstils 21, DFP-II 640.
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