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Artist: Adolfo Hohenstein German (1854-1928)

Item: R.05

Title: Tosca

Description: Condition A.
Original lithograph from the "Ricordi Portfolio"
Printed in Italy 1914. View entire collection (70)
Presented in 16 in x 20 in acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat via Fedex.
Certificate of Authenticity.
See our Terms of Sale
Sheet Size: 10 in x 14 in
  25.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Price: temporarily out of stock To Request

Full size sold for $ 19,550 US
Swann Auctions Galleries, N.Y. Dec 2003.

"Hohenstein also accepted commissions for more enduring operas, such as Puccini's eternal masterpiece, Tosca, which is based on the play written by Victorien Sardou for Sarah Bernhardt, who originally performed it in 1897. Mucha designed a poster (La Tosca, 1897) for that production. Hohenstein's design is better than Mucha's, whose poster is not especially inspired, with the majority of his efforts put into the rendering of Bernhardt's sumptuous costume, and the intricate, byzantine, background border. Hohenstein, by comparison, puts us in the center of the drama, in the second act, when Tosca kills Scarpia, the corrupt police chief. He has arrested her lover and is trying to extract sexual favors to secure his release. The dramatic view is from above, exagerating the shadow of her gown with a brilliant use of shadows and light. The colors, from pale yellow to brown, with red in the center of the scene, add to the striking, tragic intensity of the image. One of the best opera posters, and best Art Nouveau posters ever produced " (Swann)

This is a selection from the very rare commemorative portfolio published by the renowned Italian printer Ricordi in 1914. The portfolio consisted of 70 lithographic plates (smaller versions) of Ricordi's greatest posters printed between 1895 and 1914. Many of the images in the series are so rare that they can be found today in no other format. In the 1870s, Ricordi opened an in-house lithography shop to promote its operas and sheet music business. Ricordi quickly became the leading lithographer in Italy and by 1895 was creating posters for other clients such as Campari, the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera, and the Mele Department store of Naples. Under the tutelage of Adolfo Hohenstein, a brilliant stable of artists emerged at Ricordi. Artists including Cappiello, Caldanzano, Cavaleri, Dudovich, Laskoff, Metlicovitz and Mataloni brought Art Nouveau, known as Stile Liberty in Italy, to a world class level. Much like the famous Maitre de L'Affiche series created by Cheret in Paris, this portfolio celebrated the rise of the poster - which in Italy was almost single-handedly accomplished by Ricordi.
(www.internationalposter.com)

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