It is difficult to not explore Mucha when discussing divine Sarah. The man was essential to her image of HighGlamour.
He has greatly influenced my taste from very early on.
As a boy of eight my wildly eccentric Nana presented me with a wonderful Whitman’s tin, it bore the image of the familiar “Zodiac” panel (inside Nana had stuffed it with lead soldiers from WWI, marvelous toys). The tin was a wonder to me, I probably loved it more then the soldiers ( as I said before, I was a sissy boy). This exotic box with it’s scratched and rusted Orientalist decoration opened a world of beauty known as Mucha to me.
Thank you Nana, recquiscat in pace.
As I mentioned Mucha controlled, with meddling, Sarah’s image.
This famous poster of Miss Bernhardt from the production of Gismonda is well known.
1895 printed by Lemercier
It is one of my favorites.
The glamour shot that follows, it’s inspiration.
He is justly popular.
I will focus on the trivial, as that is where my talents happily lie.
Let’s discuss Mucha’s pretty Studio, it’s a grand affair.
I’m thinking this is his second studio, rue Val de Grace, 1895. He had another,charmingly described as” above Madame Charlotte’s cremerie”. I don’t profess to be a Mucha scholar, I just like pretty pictures.
Location may be uncertain, but it’s influence on my taste is abundantly clear. It is a magical place.
Anyone who knows my taste is aware of my affection for graven images, the Madonna front and center drives me mad.
Loving the stuffed pheasant, always room for taxidermy.
In my own modest way, I have attempted to recreate Mucha-stile in my own home studio.
Authors home studio, my pugdog Daisy in foreground, dachshund Buddy further on.
As I said Mucha still inspires, I still have the Whitman’s tin, more scratched and rusty as ever, but still treasured.
The inspiration for the tin, the Zodiac panel.
In addition to a shared love of writhing foliate bejeweled ornament and overdecorated studios, Alphonse Mucha and I share a birthdate. I am quite pleased with that coincidence.
b. July 24th 1860
d. July 14th 1939
(as I was born in “62 perhaps I will live to 2039 or so, hope so)
Mucha died in Czechoslovakia, a victim of Nazi harassment. Shortly after German occupation, they interrogated poor Alphonse. clearly a man capable of making such loveliness couldn’t handle the thuggery. He died shortly after the assault.
Although the Nazis had banned attendance to his funeral, 100,000 bravely defied the order and gave Mucha the respect due to a great genius.
Recquiscat in Pace
for further interesting tidbits, please check out the Mucha Foundation site
Have a great weekend.