Lot 178: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). THEATRE DE LA RENAISSANCE / SARAH BERNHARDT / PHÈDRE. 1897. 12x4 inches, 30x10 cm. F. Champenois, Paris.
January 26, 2017
New York, NY, USALive Auction
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) THEATRE DE LA RENAISSANCE / SARAH BERNHARDT / PHÈDRE. 1897.
12x4 1/8 inches, 30 1/2x10 1/2 cm. F. Champenois, Paris.
Condition A-: minor foxing and creases in image. Paper. Matted and framed.
Phèdre was Sarah Bernhardt''s favorite role; she played it as early as 1874, then in 1879 and in 1893 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance. Toulouse-Lautrec designed a lithograph of the actress on stage in this role at this time. Mucha did not start working with her for another two years. Bernhardt kept all the costumes and sets from this play available, so when she needed to perform it quickly for a charity event, she was able to stage the production easily. This came in handy on March 11, 1897, in response to the Greek-Turkish War largely fought over the Island of Crete. Raising money for the "Christian victims of Crete," she staged a one-night performance of this production. She didn''t have time to commission Mucha to design a full poster for the event; instead he produced this monochrome program, replete with his trademark halo, mosaics, flowing gown and hair. rare. We have not found another copy for sale at auction. Although reproduced in Leon Maillard''s Menus & Programmes Illustrés, we have been unable to locate any other copy of this actual program for the performance. Menus et Programmes Illustres p. 368.