Feb 18, 2021 - Sale 2558

Sale 2558 - Lot 72

Price Realized: $ 37,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 40,000 - $ 60,000

MANUEL ORAZI (1860-1934)


32 1/2x46 3/4 inches, 82 1/2x118 3/4 cm. J. Minot, Paris.
Condition B+: losses, tears and creases at top and bottom margins; tape-repaired tear at right edge, slightly into image; hinged at top on verso with archival tape. Paper. Matted.

Orazi was born in Rome, received his artistic training at the famed Italian printing house of Ricordi, and then moved to Paris where he achieved instant success by participating in the second exhibition at Siegfried Bing's gallery L'Art Nouveau, for which he designed Le Calendrier Fantastique. His work "explores and crosses the influences of Byzantium, Antiquity, symbolism and occultism" (Art Nouveau p. 121). Orazi went on to design this, one of his most famous posters for Bing's competitor, Julius Meyer-Graefe, who opened up La Maison Moderne in 1898. Meyer-Graefe had spent time with the avant-garde artistic community in Berlin (he had helped establish the influential magazine Pan) before he came to Paris and opened up his store dedicated to Art Nouveau finery of the day, including pottery, glass, lamps and jewelry. He employed top notch designers like Van de Velde to help him with his merchandise and called on some top poster designers, like Orazi and Maurice Biais, to create devise his advertising. This image highlights not only the extreme elegance of the women who frequented the store, but specifically draws attention to many of the fine items that were for sale, including the furniture, jewelry and bibelots. Bertrand Mothes, in his paper, "La Maison Moderne de Julius Meyer-Graefe" helps us identify these objects: "an inkwell bearing a bronze figure of Alexander Carpenter on a base designed by [Maurice] Dufrêne and made of flamed sandstone by Adrien Dalpayrat, an armchair by Van de Velde, a bronze lamp by Gustave Gurschner, a vase by Dufrêne and Dalpayrat and a monkey figurine by Joseph Mendes da Costa." Perhaps more importantly, Mothes identifies the glamourous and impeccably coiffed and outfitted patron as "the famous dancer Cléo de Mérode, who, like a muse, lends her image to the gallery" (http://hicsa.univ-paris1.fr/documents/file/4-Mothes-Maison%20moderne.pdf, p. 17). Note that Orazi also incorporates the store's stylized "MM" logo, designed by Georges Lemmen. In addition to this rare and important poster, Orazi himself designed some items to be sold in the store. DFP-II 676, Weill 51, Art Nouveau p. 121, Wagner 80, Abdy p. 162, Maitres 1900 p. 28.