Presentation on theme: "Sarah Bernhardt Alfons Mucha. Sarah Bernhardt The Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was the single most influential figure in Mucha’s life."— Presentation transcript:
Sarah Bernhardt The Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was the single most influential figure in Mucha’s life as an artist. It was his first poster for her, Gismonda, that made him famous and he grew both as a man and an artist through his professional collaboration and friendship with the greatest stage personality of the era. Mucha met Sarah Bernhardt for the first time in late 1894. Legend says that on St. Stephen’s Day (26th December) Mucha, then a humble illustrator, was doing a favour for a friend, correcting proofs at Lemercier’s printing workshop, when the actress called the printer with an immediate demand for a new poster for her production of Gismonda. All the regular Lemercier artists were on holiday, so Mucha was turned to in desperation. Despite his lack of experience in designing posters, Mucha grabbed this opportunity and, to his own amazement, ‘La divine Sarah’ loved his work.
1894 Poster for Victorien Sardou's Gismonda Starring Sarah Bernhardt at the Théa ̂ tre de la Renaissance, Paris
. Mucha’s Gismonda posters were up all over Paris on the morning of 1st January 1895 and they were to revolutionise poster design. The long narrow shape, the subtle pastel colours and the stillness of the near life-size figure introduced a note of dignity and sobriety, which were quite startling in their novelty. The posters immediately became objects of desire to collectors, many of whom used clandestine methods to obtain them, either bribing bill stickers or simply going out at night and cutting them down from the hoardings.. Study of Sarah Bernhardt
Delighted with the success of Gismonda, Sarah Bernhardt immediately offered Mucha a contract to produce stage and costume designs as well as posters. Under this contract, Mucha produced six more posters for her productions: La Dame aux Camélias (1896), Lorenzaccio (1896), La Samaritaine (1897), Médée (1898), La Tosca (1898) and Hamlet (1899). Mucha applied to these posters the same design principle as that he had developed for Gismonda – the use of an elongated format with a single, full-standing figure of the actress placed in a raised shallow alcove like a saint. Study of Sarah Bernhardt by Alphonse Mucha.
The collaboration between Mucha and Sarah Bernhardt was mutually beneficial. Mucha’s posters immortalised the ‘divine’ image of the actress, consolidating her iconic status. For her part, Bernhardt was so enamoured with Mucha’s work that after 1896 she made use of his designs for all posters advertising her American tours. This promoted Mucha’s work and helped him secure a foothold to explore a new career in the United States after 1904.
Poster for 'La Dame aux Camélias' (1896) Sarah Bernhardt considered La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas to be the key drama in her repertoire. Bernhardt played the title role, the courtesan Camille who is dying of consumption and releases her lover from his promise to marry her. - love's ultimate sacrifice. This poster became one of Bernhardt's favourites, and she used this design for her American tour in 1905-1906 and 1910-1911.
Affiche publicitaire pour LU avec le portrait de Sarah Bernhardt, 1904 Sarah Bernhardt a posé dans l’un des costumes créés par Mucha pour la pièce « La Princesse lointaine » d’Edmond Rostand ( cet exemplaire de l’affiche a été dédicacé par Sarah Bernhardt )
Couverture. L'affiche du spectacle est reproduite réduite sans les références à la pièce en haut et bas de l'affiche. La calligraphie hébraïque réalisée par Mucha pour la création de la pièce est réutilisée pour le texte.
La Samaritaine, 1897. Color lithograph Étude pour l'affiche. Encre de Chine et aquarelle sur papier.
La Samaritaine Acte I : Sarah Bernhardt et Léon Brémont sur scène
Poster for 'La Trappistine' (1897) The style developed in Mucha's posters for Sarah Bernhardt is applied to this poster, which advertises a liqueur made by Parisian distillers.. Here the graceful figure of a young woman dominates the composition against a halo decorated with circular motifs which became one of the characteristics of Mucha’s style. In this design, the hair is entirely orderly but a single thick strand hangs down, leading the viewer’s eyes to the low table where she holds the bottle of La Trappistine. Poster for 'La Trappistine' lithograph
Poster for 'Médée', 1898 Here Mucha captures the compelling stage presence of Sarah Bernhardt in the famous Greek tragedy Medée. The substance of the tragedy is embodied in the tense, wide-eyed expression of the actress. The stylised landscape in the background shows the influence of the contemporary fashion for Japonisme, and heightens the exotic atmosphere of the drama. The bracelet worn by Medea is the prototype of Mucha's Snake Bracelet (Sakai City Collection, Japan) commissioned by Sarah Bernhardt from the jeweller Georges Fouquet.
1898 Sarah Bernhardt chalk on paper 49.7 x 41.4 cm