ca. 1900
bronze, silver, gilding, marble
Overall: 27 1/4 × 11 × 12 in. (69.22 × 27.94 × 30.48 cm)
Alphonse Mucha was a prolific artist associated with the Art Nouveau Movement in France. He is best known for his posters of sensuous female figures, including those of the celebrated French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt. In 1899 Mucha began to develop the concept of a female portrait bust representing Nature, which is now recognized as one of his most important sculptures. He displayed a cast of this sculpture in the Austrian section of the Paris World’s Fair in 1900. The museum’s example, most likely cast by Émile Pinédo, is one of six versions known to exist. The figure’s swirling locks of hair show Mucha’s skill in creating dynamic movement. Mucha thought so highly of this model that he also showed another example at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts in Turin in 1902.
Inscribed (on proper right side): Mucha
Marked (left): Bronze Garanti Au Titre PARIS
Sydney and Frances Lewis Art Nouveau Fund
2019-2020: "Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau", Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, NY, October 12, 2019 - January 19, 2020

LOOK HERE: Dazzle, VMFA, 2 Nov 2005 - 29 Jan 2006;
Statewide LOOK HERE: Dazzle:
Piedmont Arts Assoc., Martinsville, VA 3 Mar - 23 Apr 2006
Meyer Ridderhoff Gallery, Mary Wash. Univeristy, Frederiskburg, VA 14 September - 8 December 2006
Museum of the Shenandoah Vallery, Winchester, VA 9 February - 6 May 2007;

Art Nouveau 1890 - 1914 Sources and Cities
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
30 September 2000 - 28 January 2001;

1900 Art at the Crossroads, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
11 May - 24 August 2000

Symbolismus und Jugendstil in Frankreich" Institut Mathildenhohe, Darmstadt, Germany ,
24 October 1999 - 13 February 2000;

Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,
8 June 1995- 12 November 1996;

"L'Art Nouveau, "Piedmont Art Association, Martinsville, Va., 7 March 2 April 1984;
Roanoke Museum of FineArts, 6 April - 2 May 1984;

Art Nouveau, "Artmobile exhibition, September 1972-May 1975;

"L'Art Nouveau, "Piedmont Art Association, Martinsville, Va., 7 March 2 April 1984;
Roanoke Museum of FineArts, 6 April - 2 May 1984;

This bust was displayed in the Austrian section of the Austrian-Hungarian Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle (World's Fair), Paris, 1900; and International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts, Turin, Italy, 1902 (in: Austrian section, Group II, Class 9, no. 22)(see, in Curatorial File, the catalogue: "Catalogue Officiel illustre de L'Exposition Decennale des Beaux-Arts, Imprimeries Lemercier, Paris, p. 285, under "Bosnia-Herzegovina section" (bust was in fact displayed in the Austrian Pavilion NOT the Bosnia-Herzegovina section), no. 2: Mucha - Sculpture pour le pavillon de Bosnie).

For the 1900 Paris World's Fair, and the VMFA bust, see: Catalogue General Officiel, vol. II, GroupeII, Oeuvres d'Art, classes 7 - 10, Imprimeries Lemercier, Paris, (under Austrian Pavilion), p. 296, no. 102 - La Nature (see Curatorial File)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.