Four Original colour stone lithographs
by F. Champenois, Paris, 1898.
Backed on Japon.
Each presented in 16 x 20 in. acid free,
archival museum mat, with framing
labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat via FedEx
Certificate of Authenticity.
See our Terms of Sale
Reference: Rennert/Weill 47, Bridges:C9, pp.84-85, Weill:26-29.
Set of 4 sold for $11,400 USD
Poster Auctions International, NY. May 2011
"This series of four panels depicting the Ages of Man [was] used as the basis for a calendar for 1898. The images show a young boy growing into an old man, always accompanied by a doting female muse. These are the rare proofs before letters."(Rennert/Weill, p. 47)
"The pictures are, as befits the subject, allegorical: The person growing old is at each stage, accompanied by an imaginary being in a protective attitude" (Rennert / Weill p. 187).
"The Parisian company Chocolat Masson sold chocolate under the brand name Chocolat Mexicain. The company's owner clearly had a fine appreciation of Art Nouveau design, as he employed Eugene Grasset and Alphonse Mucha for his advertising. His relationship with Mucha began when he reissued the artist's 1897 decorative panels for The Seasons, emblazoned with his company's name. Happy with the result of that collaboration, he commissioned Mucha (through Champenois) to design entirely new images for another calendar the following year. The result was the brilliantly rendered, allegorical four stages of life, depicting the Ages of Man. The images in the series, "Old Age" is set within an elaborate decorative frame." (Swann)
Mucha. The father of Art Nouveau
"Alphonse Maria Mucha first name from the Czech Alfons (24 July 1860 – 14 July 1939), was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, best known for his distinct style and his images of women. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, and designs.
Born in the town of Ivančice, Moravia (today's region of the Czech Republic). Although his singing abilities allowed him to continue his education through high school in the Moravian capital of Brünn (today Brno), drawing had been his first love since childhood. He worked at decorative painting jobs in Moravia, mostly painting theatrical scenery. In 1879 he moved to Vienna to work for a leading Viennese theatrical design company, while informally furthering his artistic education. When a fire destroyed his employer's business in 1881 he returned to Moravia, to do freelance decorative and portrait painting. Count Karl Khuen of Mikulov hired Mucha to decorate Hrušovany Emmahof Castle with murals, and was impressed enough that he agreed to sponsor Mucha's formal training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts.
Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, and continued his studies at Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi. In addition to his studies, he worked at producing magazine and advertising illustrations. Around Christmas 1894, Mucha happened to drop into a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected need for a new advertising poster for a play starring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance on the Boulevard Saint-Martin. Mucha volunteered to produce a lithographed poster within two weeks, and on 1 January 1895, the advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou appeared on the streets of the city. It was an overnight sensation and announced the new artistic style and its creator to the citizens of Paris.Bernhardt was so satisfied with the success of this first poster that she entered into a 6 year contract with Mucha.
Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewellery, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was initially called the Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau (French for 'new art'). Mucha's works frequently featured beautiful, strong young women in flowing vaguely Neoclassical looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed haloes behind the women's heads. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors. The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris spread the "Mucha style" internationally, of which Mucha said "I think [the Exposition Universelle] made some contribution toward bringing aesthetic values into arts and crafts." He decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Pavilion and collaborated in the Austrian Pavilion. His Art Nouveau style was often imitated. Later he declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message, and nothing more; hence his frustration at the fame he gained through commercial art, when he most wanted to concentrate on more lofty projects that would ennoble art and his birthplace." (Rogallery.com)