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    Sale 2133 | Lot 122
    Price Realized: $11,400With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2133 Lot 122

      ALPHONSE MUCHA (1860-1939) [THE RUBY.] Preliminary pencil study. Circa 1900.
      35 x 16 inches.
      Condition A-: minor restoration in upper right corner; minor creases and abrasions in image. Matted and framed.
      Mucha surpassed most of his contemporaries with his abilities as a draftsman. His lines are so supple and elegant, and seem to flow so effortlessly, that his images transcend reality and take on an ease and grace all of their own. Yet Mucha was an unusually hard working artist, and did not rely on some inner muse to direct his hand. This pencil study for his decorative panel The Ruby provides a lot of insight into his working process, and shows how very deliberate each of his seemingly effortless creations really was. He would begin by taking a photograph of one of his models, posed in the particular position that would suit the final piece (Mucha was, in fact, one of the pioneers of using photography in preparatory works). Then he would employ the classic method of mise au carreau, dividing the images into squares so he could ultimately transfer the image to a lithographic stone without any risk of making mistakes with the proportions. This drawing is quite close to the finished lithograph (see the next lot), except for the two women over the central figure's shoulder, who were ultimately replaced in the printed panel by the rosace.
      Estimate $8,000-12,000

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $11,400