Guillaume 1er dans son collège de Tabac signed 'Mucha' (lower left) gouache over pencil on paper 20 1/4 x 15 1/4in (51.5 x 38.8cm)
EXHIBITED: Paris, Galerie La Bodinière, 16 February-10 March 1897, cat. no. 23.
The following three works are studies for illustrations for the book by Charles Seignobos (1854- 1942), Scénes et Episodes de l'Histoire de l'Allemagne. The book was published in Paris in 1898 in Paris but Mucha had begun to work on the project much earlier, probably in 1891, commissioned by the publisher Armand Colin. The book features 33 illustrations by Mucha, along with 7 illustrations by French history painter Georges Rochegrosse (1859-1938).
Facing page 282 of the book, the present work features Prussian King Frederick William I in his 'College of Tabac', a kind of smoking club, where he spent evenings regularly with his courtiers and foreign ambassadors, enjoying smoking, drinking and eating. This drawing was exhibited for the first time in Mucha's very first solo exhibition, which was held at La Bodinière Gallery, Paris.
We are grateful to John Mucha and Tomoko Sato, Curator of the Mucha Foundation, for confirming the authenticity of this lot from photographs and providing cataloguing information.