Artist: Alphonse Mucha Czech (1860-1939)
Plate: AL. 41
Original lithograph from "Les Affiches Illustrees" series,
limited printing of 1025. Printed by
Imprimere Chaix, Paris, 1896.
Presented in 16 x 20 in. acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat via Fedex.
Certificate of Authenticity.
Sheet Size: 8 3/4 in x 12 1/4 in / 22 cm x 31 cm
Price: $1650.00 Rare
Full size sold for $ 25,300 US Poster Auctions International, N.Y. Nov 2002
"For Mucha, proponent of Art Nouveau, woman was a subject of reverence, even worship, and nowhere, did he express it more eloquently than in his first poster for the immortal actress Sarah Bernhardt. 'Gismonda' was a biblical period piece whose Palm Sunday procession in the third act allowed Mucha to cloth the actress in a gown of Byzantine opulence and to give her a wonderful expression." (Gold p.107)
"…at the appearance of Gismonda on the billboards, Paris was bowled over; an odscure illustrator (Mucha) became an overnight celebrity, and posters were suddenly discussed seriously as art form in circles which would have before not even deigned to grant them a passing mention… Mucha's masterly composition, his unereing eye for decorative detail, flawless draftsmanship and an exquisitely delicate sensitivity for muted colours combined with his skill in lithography to produce a masterpiece." (Wine Spectator ,71)
Gismonda, Victorien Sardou's four-act play, was premiered in the autumn of 1894 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. Sarah Bernhardt was both director and actor. This poster by Mucha was produced to promote the new production which opened on 4 January, 1895. Mucha portrayed Bernardt as an exotic Byzantine noblewoman wearing a splendid gown and an orchid headdress with a palm branch in her hand. This costume was worn in the last act, the climax of the play, where she joined the Easter procession. Placing her life-size figure on an arched platform, Mucha rendered the beauty and dignity of her personality onstage rather than representing her realistic features or the story. Delighted with Mucha's design, Bernhardt continued to use this poster for her American tour in 1896." (Mucha Foundation)