Lot 212: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). SLAVIA / [BANK INSURANCE CERTIFICATE.] 1907. 15x9 inches, 38x23 cm.
January 26, 2017
New York, NY, USALive Auction
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) SLAVIA / [BANK INSURANCE CERTIFICATE.] 1907.
15 1/8x9 1/4 inches, 38 1/4x23 1/2 cm.
Condition A- / B+: minor foxing in margins; creases along horizontal folds. Matted and framed. Unexamined out of frame.
Mucha designed a poster for the Czech bank "Slavia" in 1907. Although he was living in America at the time (note the "NY" he included in front of his name), the image is laden with nationalist symbolic imagery. The figure representing Slavia holds a ring in her hand symbolizing unity (i.e. panslavism) and on either side of her chair sits a stylized falcon (in Czech, Sokol, the name given to the Czech nationalist movement). This poster is believed to be based on Mucha''s portrait of Josephine Crane Bradley, the daughter of his friend and patron Charles R. Crane. However, as the poster is dated 1907 and the painting 1908, it is clear that Mucha incorporated the girl''s portrait into a Czech 100 krown note prior to his finished painting. Brno 55 (var), Rennert / Weill 93 (var), Mucha / Henderson 97 (var), Mucha / Bridges CP12b (var), Lendl p. 265 (var).