Lot 118: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939). [ZODIAC] / LA PLUME. 1896. 25x18 inches, 63x46 cm. F. Champenois, Paris.

Swann Auction Galleries

January 26, 2017, 1:30 PM EST
New York, NY, US
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Description: ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) [ZODIAC] / LA PLUME. 1896.
25x18 1/4 inches, 63 1/2x46 1/2 cm. F. Champenois, Paris.
Condition B+: expertly-repaired tear at right edge into image; minor repaired tears, restored losses and abrasions in margins; tape and pencil notations on verso; hinged to mat at top edge. Paper. Matted and framed.
With Zodiac, Mucha reaches the full maturity of his style, with every one of his signature design elements in their most fluid and elaborate incarnations. The image was originally published as a calendar by F. Champenois but was quickly bought by La Plume, who began issuing it as a calendar with their own name at the top. The image was a huge success and was ultimately used for a variety of different advertising purposes; in all, ten different variations have been identified (see lot 122). With this image, Champenois realized they could begin licensing out Mucha''s images to different companies, upon which they could imprint their own names, resulting in a very profitable side business for the printer who already owned all the rights to Mucha''s works. Brno 8 (var), Lendl 56 (var), Rennert / Weill 19 (var 1), Mucha Grand Palais 23 (var), Darmstadt 28 (var), Arco p. 85, Sarah Mucha p. 28 (var), Mucha / Henderson 131, Mucha / Posters and Photographs 24 (var), Mucha / Bridges C4a, Triumph des Jugendstils 63 (var), Spirit of Art Nouveau p. 79, DFP-II 629, Schardt p. 131.
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