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Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) CYCLES PERFECTA. 1897. 57 1/2x39 3/4 inches, 146x101 cm. F. Champenois, Paris. Condition B+: repaired tears and extensive expert overpainting in upper margin and text; repaired tears at edges, some into image; creases and printer's creases in image. This is arguably Mucha's most graphic poster, relying less on his detailed decorative elements and more on a bold, eye-catching composition. "He designed two posters for bicycle manufacturers, each in a different spirit. In Waverly Cycles, he promoted the bicycle as a first-class product of an American company . . . for the British Cycles Perfecta, Mucha did not extoll the engineering of the bicycle but instead expressed the mood of exhilaration felt by an emancipated young woman after riding it. The vibrant folds of her dress and her windblown golden hair are still in motion; the tendrils and swirls filling the background seem to have a life of their own" (Spirit of Art Nouveau p. 170). "Mucha finally had a perfect subject that justified hair in motion and he took full advantage of it" (Rennert / Weill p. 294). The simple vision of this woman, quietly leaning on a bicycle handlebar with a wistful look in her eye and her hair in a tempest of liberation, results in a powerful gem of commercial art. Rennert / Weill 81, Mucha A27, Lendl p. 125, Mucha / Grand Palais 56, Mucha / Henderson 77, Spirit of Art Nouveau 29, Weill p. 41, Brno 34, Art Nouveau p. 108.