By Swiss/French Art Nouveau designer and artist Emile Cause (1867-1919?), this beautiful and extremely rare original French Lithograph is an early book illustration.
In striking shades of blue and white it features a lovely young woman's face, with eyes closed and flowing hair. She has several snakes curling from her hair.
Below her is an apple tree and at first glance I thought this was a representational illustration of 'Eve and the Serpent'. She could also be Medusa..but is really far too pretty (Medusa is usually depicted as so ugly that simply looking at her can turn one to stone).
I believe she is actually one of the three Furies or Erinyes. The Furies were three Mythological Greek Goddesses of vengeance who punished their victims by driving them mad and were referred to as the Infernal Goddesses. Also known as the Daughters of the Night, they were actually the daughters of Uranus and Gaea.
Signed by the artist in the print lower centre, it is printed on fine china paper in blue monotone and dates to c1890.
Measuring 10 1/2" x 7 3/4" it has mild foxing to the margins and is in good Antique condition.
Emil Cause was renowned for his delicate palette, organic elements and flattened perspective. He was most prolific between 1890 and 1899 and contributed to such iconic art issues as 'Expositions du Salon des Cent', Encyclopaedia of Industrial and Decorative Art 1891-92, and 'La Plume'. Most of his surviving works are to be found in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris and are otherwise extremely rare.
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