?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939)
[THE FLOWERS / IRIS.] 1898.
41 3/4x18 1/4 inches, 106x46 1/4 cm. [F. Champenois, Paris.] Condition A-: minor repaired tears at edges, one slightly into lower image; slight darkening at lower right edge.
Mucha's irresistible allegories of flowers are among the most delicate of the decorative panels Mucha designed. His printer, Champenois, continuously pushed him to design more panels to satisfy the public's seemingly insatiable demand. In all, Mucha designed approximately 18 different sets of decorative panels. These are in many ways his most sensual images, playing a flirtatious graphic game between the women and the flowers that surround them. Mucha's paintings of both Iris and Carnation were exhibited in his one-man show at the Salon des Cent in 1897. The aquarelles bore the notice "to be published by Champenois." Over the course of the next few months, Mucha completed the other two flowers. The set in this format, printed in a run of 1000, sold out so quickly that Champenois printed the series again in a smaller format with all four images on a single sheet. "One of the fundamental premises of art nouveau was to look for inspiration in nature, and in The Flowers set Mucha produced one of the best arguments for it . . . it is a clear case of Beauty celebrating beauty in each instance. By using soft pastels and harmonious composition, Mucha imbued each scene with a sense of tranquility and quiet enjoyment" (Lendl p. 122). Rennert / Weill, 49, Lendl / Paris 69, Lendl p. 202, Mucha / Art Nouveau 50.