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Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,000
EUGENE GRASSET (1841-1917)
[MÉDITATION.] Decorative panel on silk. Circa 1897.
35 1/4x21 1/4 inches, 90x54 cm. [Malherbe, Paris.] Condition B+: staining and minor discoloration in margins and image; affixed at edges to paper; printed on silk.
Capitalizing on the poster craze sweeping through France during the fin-de-siecle, publishers began to issue large-format decorative panels designed by the best poster artists. Grasset's panels began in small format with two plates for L'Estampe Originale. By 1896, he was working on a series of ten full-size panels (Estampes Decoratives) for his printer, Malherbe. In these panels, Grasset used representations of women and nature to express states of mind and moods. The influence of Japanese prints is clear, including the use of flat colors and broad outlining. Unlike Mucha's sensual approach, Grasset depicted his women in their static poses, resulting in a fascinating, hypnotizing effect. Meditation is arguably Grasset's best panel, as the image of a woman lost in her thoughts in the silence of nature so perfectly reflects Grasset's style. The series was acclaimed in 1897 at the Libre Esthetique in Brussels and then at the first Secession Exhibition in Vienna. Rare. This is the only copy on silk that we have seen. Arwas p. 71, Murray Robertson p. 126.