January 26, 2017, 1:30 PM EST
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Lot 209: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). FRIENDSHIP / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. April 3, 1904. 20x15 inches, 52x38 cm.(89 views)
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Estimate: $300 - $400
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) FRIENDSHIP / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. April 3, 1904.
20 1/2x15 inches, 52x38 cm.
Condition B+: time-staining, creases and minor losses in margins; faded. Matted and framed. Unexamined out of frame.
"In 1904, at the age of forty-four, Mucha left Paris . . . to America with the determination to become known as a painter. Since his posters and decorative designs were as famous in New York as in Paris, the press in the New World treated him as a celebrity" (Spirit of Art Nouveau p. 214). The New York Daily News referred to him as "the world''s greatest decorative artist," and dedicated its Sunday Art Section to Mucha on April 3, 1904. For the illustration on the cover of that section, Mucha created a wonderful allegorical image entitled Friendship, in which America and France are each depicted as women. America, with stars on both her tiara and gown and red and white ribbons cascading from her hair, appears as the young protégé of France, who watches over her, protectively adorned with lilies in her hair and fleur-de-lys patterns on her dress. As Jirí Mucha points out, the two women are jointly "holding a wreath of lime leaves, [a] national symbol of Czechoslovakia" (Mucha Posters and Photographs p. 52). Grand Palais L. 69, Lendl p. 257 (var), Rennert / Weill 89, Mucha / Henderson 170 (var), Mucha / Bridges R28 (var), Jiri Mucha p. 201, Spirit of Art Nouveau 60 (var).