From: Ilsee, Princess of Tripoli Recto: "Rudel of Blaye" Verso: "Drunken Prince", 1897
Lithograph, rare proof before text, doublesided
8.43 x 6.62 x 18.50 in
This color double-sided lithograph is from Alphonse Mucha's "Ilsee, Princess of Tripoli." The front of this piece, "Rudel of Blaye" features the royal family and subjects (sans text) and the verso features the old prince Jaufre Rudel in a drunken sleep. 8 7/16" x 6 5/8" art 20 3/8" x 18 1/2" frame Framed to conservation standards in a double-sided frame to showcase both sides of the rare proof. Held in a gold finish ornate moulding and glazed in UF5 Plexiglass that filters 99% of UV rays to inhibit fading. Alphonse Mucha was born in 1860 in the small town of Ivancice, Monrovia. Though it is rumored that Mucha was drawing before he was walking, his early years were spent as a choirboy and amateur musician. It wasn’t until after he finished high school that he came to realize that living people were responsible for the art that he admired in the local churches. That epiphany made him determined to become a painter. He was soon sent off to Paris, where he studied at the Academie Julian. On January 1, 1985, he presented his own new style to the citizens of Paris. Spurning the bright colors and the more square-like shape of the more popular poster artists, the design was a sensation. Art Nouveau can trace its beginnings to about this time, which was the attempt to eradicate the dividing line between art and audience. Mucha’s way was based on a strong composition, sensuous curves derived from nature, refined decorative elements, and natural colors. Art Nouveau percepts were used also, but never at the expense of his own vision. Mucha was always a patriot of his Czech homeland and considered his success a triumph for the Czech people as much as for himself. He began to plan out "The Slav Epic," a series of great paintings chronicling major events in the Slav nation. Mucha’s bequest to his country was received with cold shoulders. The geopolitical world ten years after WW1 was very different from the one in which Mucha had begun his project. The rest of Mucha’s life was spent almost as an anachronism. His work was still beautiful and popular, just no longer "new" - a heinous crime in the eyes of the critics. When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia, he was still influential enough to be one of the first people arrested. He returned home after a Gestapo questioning session and died shortly thereafter on July 14, 1939.