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Lot 197: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). LESLIE CARTER. 1908. 83x31 inches, 210x78 cm. The Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati.
January 26, 2017
New York, NY, USALive Auction
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) LESLIE CARTER. 1908.
83x31 inches, 210 7/8x78 3/4 cm. The Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati.
Condition B: water staining and rippling in bottom margin; extensive staining in margins; repaired tears and creases in margins and image; tape on verso at top and bottom, showing through. Two-sheets. Framed. Unexamined out of frame.
Leslie Carter was an extravagant woman and aspiring actress whose incredible success was largely attributed to her charms and the shrewd way in which she applied them to her pursuits. Both Mucha and the author of this play (a commercial disappointment, despite the wonderful poster) were both so taken with her that they completed their work without compensation. For this poster, one of the few that Mucha designed while living in America from 1904-1912, the artist is clearly harkening back to poster designs for Sarah Bernhardt from early on in his career, as the tall, thin format of the poster, the drape of the gown, the halo behind the actress'' head and the crown of flowers are all reminiscent of his work in the late 1890s. Mucha had clearly lost nothing of his ability to design a great theater poster (although one cannot help questioning the choice of blue-green for the actress'' face and shoulders). Curiously, the name of the production, Kassa, appears nowhere on the image. The poster, printed by Strobridge, is signed "from a design by Mucha;" most likely had the artist been on the press, he would have corrected this detail. Rennert / Weill 94, Lendl p. 266, Brno 56, 150th Mucha 222, Mucha Grand Palais 327, Darmstadt 340, Arco p. 81, Mucha / Henderson 98, Mucha / Posters and Photographs 50 (var), Mucha / Bridges A55, Jiri Mucha p. 233, Spirit of Art Nouveau 33.