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Lot 98: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). LYGIE. 1901. 69x23 inches, 176x58 cm. F. Champenois, Paris.

ALPHONSE MUCHA & MASTERS OF ART NOUVEAU

by Swann Auction Galleries

January 26, 2017

New York, NY, USA

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Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860-1939) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

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Description: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) LYGIE. 1901.
69 1/2x23 inches, 176 1/2x58 1/2 cm. F. Champenois, Paris.
Condition A. Two-sheets. Framed. Unexamined out of frame.
Lygie was a young performer who, in an act presented at the Folies Bergère, would strike poses taken from Mucha''s posters and decorative panels, creating living tableaux in costumes. Mucha himself helped with the production and had a hand in designing the sets and costumes. It was a fashionable pastime in the 1890s for women of all social backgrounds to play charade-like games in which they would strike a pose of a certain poster and have their fellow players try and guess which poster it was. For Mucha, to design such a self-referential poster must have been a delight, if not a challenge; how to design an original poster depicting a woman who is posing as a Mucha poster, without copying a previous poster? He achieves this by providing a classic image with all of his favorite ornamental and decorative elements, from the mosaic in the halo behind the actress'' head, to the flowers and the decorative borders. One cannot help but recognize the wistful expression of the performer, which resembles the visage of the maiden in Mucha''s La Fleur (see lot 138), as well as her clasped hands, which closely echo his 1897 version of Spring. Lendl p. 62, Brno 49, Rennert / Weill 77, Mucha Grand Palais A. 49, Mucha / Henderson 90, Mucha / Bridges A46, Triumph des Jugendstils 40.

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