Hand painted & signed Art Nouveau French plate featuring the portrait of a Mucha-style women. Presumably painted to resemble "Amethyst" by Alphonse Mucha from The Precious Stones Series. 1900 (see last picture- Thanks S.P. for the info!).
Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) played a very important role in shaping the French Art Nouveau period at the turn of the century. Although Mucha never associated himself with what was called Art Nouveau movement, many others associated his work so closely with Art Nouveau that they sometimes called it le style Mucha.
Portraits of woman were quite frequent in Art Nouveau images, especially in Mucha's work. A single woman was usually the primary focus as depicted in this hand-painted plate by the turn-of-the-century artist ‘Bennett’. This amazingly talented artist painted the woman’s figure and face as the primary focus of the work. The confidence in the woman’s posture and gaze creates a powerful sense of sexuality in the painting. Much like Mucha’s work, this woman has a sense of herself, of her own passionate natures, independence, and power. In Bennett’s design, the dramatic figure is framed by a lovely Roman Coin border accented with geometric designs. The flowing designs and the very unique colors used throughout are superb and help to radiate a sexual energy with absolutely no malicious intent.
During the Art Nouveau movement, artists like Bennett were creating for the first time sexually charged portraits of women. In Mucha’s advertisement work in particular, these new images were used to sell items. It is interesting to note that this capitalism simultaneously served to liberate woman from traditional images and old attitudes while at the same time creating new problems for them in the future!
[Note: I have similar plate painted by the same artist currently up for sale that is featured in the last picture (Item 11F-129).]
Size: 8“ diameter
Marked: Guerin (W.G. & Co) 1836-1900 for Wright Tyndale & Van Roden & signed ‘Mucha Girl by Bennett’
*****The artist signature and the two factory back marks on the plates show that these pieces were professional decorated by the artist Bennett. Wright, Tyndale, and van Roden were upscale distributors and catalog retailers in Philadelphia. They apparently ordered white china blanks from Wm Guerin & Co and had Bennett create this one-of-a-kind ‘Mucha Girl’ artwork for a particular customer.
Condition: Excellent. No Chips, Cracks or Restorations
(For references see:Mary Gaston's Encyclopedia of Limoges China; Marks on German, Bohemian, & Austrian Porcelain 1710-present)
Item ID: 11F-130
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