This stunning and rare lithograph is from Alphonse Mucha’s Documents décoratifs. The work was published in Paris by Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts in 1902 and edited by Emile Levy.
The work was an excellent representation of his work in the art nouveau movement. It included images of flowers, fauna, women, jewelry, kerosene lamps, cutlery, posters, furniture, and illustrations for books.
Mucha “illustrates the process of stylisation and simplification that transforms a drawing from nature to an object for practical use […] The compatibility of design and material is emphasized in applications of an identical motif on tableware, lace or jewelry. Examples for graphic artists include studies of nude or draped figures and of heads. Mucha’s drawings and applied designs show virtuosity that surpasses technical ability. The publication was considered an invaluable textbook for artisans and designers and was used by art students in France and abroad, including Russia.” (V. Arwas et al. Alphonse Mucha The Spirit of Art Nouveau (Alexandria, VA: 1998), p.310)
Alphonse (Alfons) Maria Mucha (1860-1939) was a Bohemian and Czech artist. He produced most of his early work in Paris and truly broke through around 1895. He moved back to Prague in 1910. Mucha was one of the most influential artists to the art nouveau movement.