- Full Description
By 1899, Alphonse Mucha had experienced four years as the most recognizable proponent of Art Nouveau graphics and the most celebrated illustrator in Paris. The massive output in the advertising and decorative work earned much for Mucha's publisher but very little for the artist himself. So Mucha insisted upon the release of a deeply personal work, and printed 510 copies of what he for the remainder of his life considered his works-on-paper masterpiece, Le Pater. His Symbolist masterpiece features a female deity protecting humankind, and a number of sophisticated occult themes across a series of images of mystical illustrations.
The images from Le Pater are mentioned in numerous Mucha books as his masterpieces and are universally acknowledged alongside his massive Slav Epic paintings as his finest work. However, as a result of Mucha's forced limitation of the publication of this masterwork, the rarity of the lithographs means that most books are limited to mentioning the images in the text and leaving the reader to wonder what these "lost masterpieces" might look like.
Unlike the advertising art that had dominated Mucha's output since his "discovery" by Sarah Bernhardt in late 1894, Mucha described this series of images to a New York reporter as "the thing I have put my soul into." (The Sun newspaper, 5 January, 1900)
Mucha's previous artworks were lithographed on numerous mediums ranging from paper to silk, in multiple formats; Mucha's publisher Champenois saw to it that Mucha was the most printed artist in Paris in the late 1890s. Mucha's concern, understandably, was likely that the imagery of his spiritual work would be capitalized upon. By 1899, he had earned the right to demand that the Le Pater images would be produced in an edition of only 510 copies, and subsequently saw the plates destroyed--ensuring the work would never be reprinted for mass-market purposes!
From the fine press specialty publisher The Century Guild, comes this exquisitely produced new edition. Three styles alternate here: one page of text, with a finely detailed initial letter drawing and a unique, Art Nouveau border--each one different. Next we have a black and white painting, of the same epic quality as the Slav Epic work. And third we have an ornate, mystical page of symbolist icons, also carrying the story forward with but standing alone, each one, as fine a decorative drawing as anything he'd ever done for the commercial world. Superb, full color reproduction. This is THE definitive edition of this rare, little-seen masterpiece.
Also available with special extra plates, and in hardcover. Includes a picture and a quote from Mucha and commentary by publisher and editor Thomas Negovan.
- Additional Information
Item Code ALPM Publisher Century Guild Publish Date 2016 Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 8x11 # Pages 59pg Color Partial Color
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