Feb 24, 2022 - Sale 2596

Sale 2596 - Lot 49

Estimate: $ 3,500 - $ 4,500

ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939)


31 1/2x18 inches, 80x47 cm. Melantrich, Prague.
Condition A- / B+: small tape-repaired tears and creases in margins; slight darkening in bottom right margin; pin holes in top corners; unobtrusive vertical and horizontal folds. Paper.

This, "one of Mucha's most moving posters . . . was a plea for help for starving Russian children during the war between the Bolsheviks and the White Russians. Between 1918 and 1922, the economic situation in Russia became desperate, and western countries including the United States sent shipments of food and grain. The Russian government had to allow partial restoration of previously nationalized private land so that the land could be more efficiently cultivated. The title of the poster consists of only two words in Latin ['Restore Russia'], which can be understood by the speakers of many languages. It means Russia must be restored to conditions suitable for human life. Mucha elevated the sorrowful woman holding an exhausted child beyond the meaning of Mother Russia with her gaunt ward by placing circular forms behind their heads, invoking the halos of the Madonna with the Christ child. Two wounded doves in the upper corners signify a Slavic nation that would die without aid, and the hearts in the lower corners express hope in human compassion" (Spirit of Art Nouveau p. 181). Lendl p. 288, Brno 69, Grand Palais A76, 150th Mucha 267 (var), Rennert / Weill 109, Mucha / Henderson 111, Mucha / Bridges A68, Triumph des Jugendstils 211, Spirit of Art Nouveau 40.