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Alphonse Mucha
"Princess Hyacinthe" Original 1911 Lithograph, Alphonse Mucha

1911

About the Item

“One of Mucha’s best Czech posters, printed by the firm of V. Neubert in the Smichov quarter of Prague, was for Princezna Hyacinta, a fairy-tale ballet and pantomime with music by Oskar Nedbal and libretto by Ladislav Novák. The portrait of the popular actress Andula Sedlácková as the princess dominates the poster. The plot develops as a dream of a village blacksmith who falls asleep after digging for a buried treasure. In his dreams he becomes lord of a castle, and his daughter Hanicka becomes the Princess Hyacinth. Of her three suitors, one is a sorcerer who abducts her to his underground palace, but she is rescued by a poor knight who looks like her real-life lover. Mucha used the motif of the hyacinth throughout the entire design, from embroideries to silver jewelry, and for an elaborate circle sparkling against the mossy green background. The portrait of the actress is seen against a sky full of stars and encircled with images from the dream: the blacksmith’s tools, a gold crown, hearts speared by arrows of love, the sorcerer’s alchemical vessels, and his strange monsters.” (Mucha/Art Nouveau, p. 175). Alphonse Mucha was a painter and decorative artist best known for the sensual Art Nouveau paintings, posters, and advertisements that came to define Art Nouveau in fin de siècle Paris. In 1887, after periods of employment in Vienna and Moravia, and studies in Munich and Paris, Mucha began to support himself producing magazine and advertising illustrations. Eventually he gained fame by creating a poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt, in the role of Gismonda. It was the first of many of his depictions of voluptuous women seductively posed and draped in sheer, clinging gowns. They are generally set off by sinuous hair, turgid vines, and bountiful flowers, all distinctly outlined in the manner of Japanese woodcuts. The coiled eroticism of Mucha’s compositions created a lush and sensuous beauty that was admired and imitated by both collectors and artists alike.
  • Creator:
    Alphonse Mucha (1860 - 1930, Czech)
  • Creation Year:
    1911
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 50 in (127 cm)Width: 32.25 in (81.92 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Pristine (examined under UV and the poster shows no signs of restoration or repair). Custom frame with white gold-leaf and Optium plexi.
  • Gallery Location:
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU467310341192
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