Published: March 15, 2021
NEW YORK CITY – Among 500 rare and iconic works presented at the 83rd Rare Posters Auction from Poster Auctions International (PAI) on March 14, the star was Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha’s (1860-1939) The Stars, 1902, which sold for $72,000, including buyer’s premium.
The sale catalog notes that in this series, Mucha began to see the decorative panel as painting with a meaning deeper than mere ornament. He connected his attraction to higher ideals, expressed through the stars, with his recurring theme of beautiful women personifying the stars as floating female figures. The dramatic quality of the movement of the individual figures is also remarkable, resembling the great baroque artistic heritage of Mucha’s country. Seen left to right in the illustration are the Moon, the Evening and Morning Stars – both aspects of Venus – and the North Star. And the flowery borders are virtual textbook examples of Art Nouveau as carried out by its master. The larger format of this series, each panel measures 11¾ by 30-7/8 inches.
The piece was among a selection of 24 works by Mucha, including important images such as his 1898 Waverley Cycles, the before-text printing of his 1896 The Seasons, his 1898 Job and the 1899 Moët & Chandon. In addition, the sale featured masterpieces and rarities from a century of poster design by other top artists, including Cappiello, Cassandre and Toulouse-Lautrec. Watch for a full review to follow.
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