Theaterby Alphonse Mucha
Mucha Nouveau Bernhardt Gismonda
Sarah Bernhardt portrays Gismonda at Theatre de la Renaissance in Paris in 1894.If ever a single event in the art world could be pinpointed as the start of a new epoch, it would have to be the appearance of Gismonda on the billboards of Paris on January 1, 1895. Between Cheret's frothy baubles and Toulouse-Lautrec's impudent jibes there appeared a vision of serene beauty: a paean to the most renowned actress of her day, presented with all the reverence due a Byzantine princess. Paris was bowled over; an obscure illustrator became an overnight celebrity, and posters were suddenly discussed seriously as an art form in circles which would have before not even deigned to grant them a passing mention. The poster which created such a stir deserves every bit of its fame. Mucha's masterly composition, his unerring eye for decorative detail, flawless draftsmanship and an exquisitely delicate sensitivity for muted colors combined with his skill in lithography to produce a masterpiece.