This enchanting illustration of a lady all wrapped up in a luxurious fur hat, ribbons, lace and ruffles is one in a series by Hans Christiansen (1866-1945), a German painter and illustrator. Although his name may not be as familiar to you as Alphonse Mucha, Christiansen is considered to be one of the main drivers behind Art Nouveau at the turn of the century. The French postcard "Bible," Les Meilleures Cartes Postales d'Illustrateurs by Neudin says simply "one of the best postcard artists. The one whose art nouveau cards are often cited as an example of the harmonious use of space." Serendipitously I discovered that what I thought was a mystery publisher's logo at the bottom left is actually the artist's "signature." One reason Christiansen is not as well known as Mucha is "from 1933, his work was banned by the Nazi party because of his Jewish wife and was largely forgotten until his death in 1945." (Thanks to the Vienna Secession/Art Nouveau in Vienna and Germany 1895-1918 web site for this information.) * This is a quality lithographic postcard with subtle colors: white, yellow, ecru, blue. Her long flowing hair goes from dark brown to blonde highlights draping across her bare shoulder. And just a hint of red on her lips. The sender wrote their name on front since there was no room for a message verso; only legal space for the recipient's address. Although not postally franked, the undivided back helps us date this card to about 1898 to 1903. No creases and for its age, in overall near mint condition. 3.5 by 5.5 inches.
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*"(Christiansen) designed furniture, ceramics, tapestries and stained glass and graphic posters. He also designed his own house in the colony which he named “Villa Rose” later sadly was destroyed in World War. During this time, Christiansen was also a regular contributor to the magazine Jugend producing numerous illustrations and covers. From 1902 he settled Paris where he worked as a painter and from 1911 on taught at the School of Applied Arts in Wiesbaden."
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