29 November 2000
MUCHA, Alphonse Maria (1860-1939). Documents décoratifs. Edited by Gabriel Mourey. Paris: Librarie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, .
2° (457 x 333mm). Half-title, title printed in red and black. 72 plates after Mucha, 8 mounted, the majority printed in colours, some heightened in silver. Title vignette, head- and tailpiece and initial after Mucha, initial printed in red and black. (Scattered light spotting and damp marking, some light browning on text, short marginal tears to some leaves and plates.) Unbound as issued in original cloth-backed portfolio, the upper board with design after Mucha printed in colours (extremities somewhat rubbed, covers a little damp marked, lacking ties). Provenance: Foulard, Paris (bookseller's ticket on upper pastedown).
RARE. THE HIGHLY-INFLUENTIAL SOURCE BOOK FOR 'LE STYLE MUCHA'. Documents décoratifs was an encyclopaedia of Mucha's decorative designs in many media, and reproduces many of his designs for posters, book illustrations, jewellery, and original drawings. Through these images, 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). A. Bridges, Alphonse Mucha The Complete Graphic Works (London: 1980) p.169/L31.
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