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Artist: Alphonse Mucha Czech (1860-1939)

Plate: ZC

Title: Zdenka Cerny
Description: Condition A
Original colour stone lithograph
Printed by V. Nuebert, Smichov/Prague, 1913.
Backed on linen.

Reference:Ref: Rennert/Weill, 102; Lendl/Prague, p. 280; Mucha/Art Nouveau, 39; Gold, 177; PAI-LXX, 495.

Certificate of Authenticity.
See our Terms of Sale
Poster Size: 43 1/4 in x 74 1/2 in
  110 cm x 189 cm

Price: $6500.00 USD


Zdenka Cerny was heralded as “The Greatest Bohemian Violoncellist in the world.

Mucha's splendid portrait of the musican when she was only 16 was to be used to promote Zdenka's scheduled tour of Europe the following year but, due to the outbreak of war, the tour was cancelled. Consequently very few prints of this large poster were produced, which no doubt adds value to them. 



The Cello Player by Gustave Jean Jacquet

“Mucha worked from a photograph of Zdenka with a cello, but idealized her face by investing it with a spiritual quality, her love of music. He created a unique poster-portrait by adjusting the slant of her head, softening her expression, lightening the hair, lifting the hand turning the sheet music, and elongating the body. Two circles, one with lilies symbolizing Zdenka’s youthful innocence, the other with laurels of her past triumphs, complete the design suffused with warm light” (Mucha/Art Nouveau, p. 180)

Zdeňka Olga Černý (American, 1895-1989) was the second of three children of Albert Vojtech Černý, who emigrated to the USA in 1888 and Frances Engelthaler. Her father taught piano, cello, violin and singing as a music teacher and founded her own music school. Zdeňka learned the cello from her father and soon became a recognized cellist. A European tour planned for 1914 had to be canceled after the start of the First World War.

On March 11, 1916 she married Otto Vasak (1882-1961). The marriage had three children. According to her daughter Jetta Vasak, Vasak forbade her to continue her musical career and even to stop teaching. Although Zdeňka turned 102, she never played the cello again. After Vasak died in 1961, she remarried two years later and moved to California with her husband. There she traveled in circles of artists who were enthusiastic about the almost forgotten magnificent Mucha poster.



Mucha. The father of Art Nouveau


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