Artist: Luc-Olivier Merson French (1846-1920)
Title: Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
issued by L'Estampe Moderne
Issue Number 24, April 1899.
Printed by F. Champenois, Paris.
Blindstamp lower right in margin.
Signed in the stone lower left.
Presented in 16 x 20 in. acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat.
Certificate of Authenticity.
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Sheet Size: approx 12 in x 16 in / 30.5 cm x 40.5 cm
Salome by Mucha See listing
"In Christian mythology, Salome was the daughter of Herodias and stepdaughter of Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee in Palestine. Her infamy comes from causing St. John the Baptist's execution. The saint had condemned the marriage of Herodias and Herod Antipas, as Herodias was the divorced wife of Antipas's half brother Philip. Incensed, Herod imprisoned John, but feared to have the well-known prophet killed. Herodias, however, was not mollified by John's incarceration and pressed her daughter Salome to "seduce" her stepfather Herod with a dance, making him promise to give her whatever she wished. At her mother's behest, Salome thus asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Unwillingly, Herod did her bidding, and Salome brought the platter to her mother."
Luc Oliver Merson (French 1846-1920)
A Painter and illustrator. Son of Charles Olivier Merson (1822-1902), trained by Pils and Chassevent. He won the Prix de Rome in 1869. Became a leading exponent of Classicism in France, and received numerous commissions under the Third Republic for decorative cycles in public buildings. Member of the Institut in 1892 and Professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1894, later resigning in protest against the lowering of standards in modern art. (britishmuseum.org)
Merson in his studio
By 1900 Merson was designing postage stamps for the French post and the Monaco post. He was teaching at the Académie Vitti in 1903. By 1908 he had been contracted by the Bank of France to create a number of designs for some of the country's banknotes. Between 1906 and 1911 he taught at the École des Beaux-Arts, with students such as Clément Serveau, who would also eventually design stamps and banknotes himself. In recognition of his contribution to French culture, Merson was awarded the Legion of Honor.
Mucha designed monthly Cover
Not unlike the Maitres de L'Affiche series, L'Estampe Moderne was a portfolio printed between 1897-98, published by Imprimerie Champenois, Paris, contained 24 monthly portfolios, with four original lithographs in each. Each commissioned only for this series. Some of the contributing artists included Mucha, Rhead, Meunier, Ibels, Steinlen, Willette and Grasset.