Translation: "The end of the table" Poem by Jacques Normand (1848-1931) French poet, journalist and novelist. This composition was exhibited in 1897 in Paris at La Bodinière (No. 95) as well as a proof at La Plume (No. 173).
The cover Noel by Mucha from the same issue. Available at Noel 1896
"As indicated by the title, 1896-Noel-1897, this edition of the magazine marks the turn of the year - the passing of the old year and its renewal. The figure of the woman in the foreground seems to symbolise the passing year, while the winged figure is wrapping her body in a shroud. The silhouetted flower held by the passing woman is a thistle, which often symbolises sin and earthly suffering. However, the hope for renewal and redemption is indicated by the image of the silhouetted church building in the background (considering the occasion, probably the Church of the Nativity) as well as the band of decorative motifs on the left, consisting of three pairs of hands and snowy branches of a Christmas tree. In the Christian context, pairs of hands often allude to spiritual power or the conduits to convey spiritual energy, while Christmas trees represent vitality or life force. Whist these motifs were inspired by the Christian tradition, the idea of 'mechnical' hands with cogs is totally unique. By this, probably Mucha expressed the power of a mysterious God who governs time and the harmonious working of Nature." (Mucha Trust)
1895 L'Illustration Christmas edition cover by Maurice de Lambert
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