A MUCHA PROJECT

This Poster for Societe Populaire des Beaux-Arts was printed in 1897. The artist, Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939). The poster was browned with acids and dirt. Tho we gave it an acid treatment and bleaching, the browning mostly remained. The owner decided to have it backed anyway.
After a cleaning and bleaching I applied the paste to the back of the poster.
After an absorbtion duration, we apply the poster to the acid free paper and canvas
I then roll it out, get rid of air pockets.
Then wash off the surface of paste and correct paper irregularities.
As the poster dries over several days, we can begin to see the Lithographs true remaining colors. I begin to consider color application options.
I decide to use water color, both dry pigments and some wet/dry brush techniques to achieve the look appropriate to Mucha and others of his era.
The color slowly emerges, For color references I use many different catalog reproductions and try to find an original print to look at if practical.
All of our materials are water based, archival and reversable. Chris Cloutier has been an artist from the age of 5, currently a Painter in Oils, he has restored art since 1989.
Societe Populaire des Beaux-Arts : "This society was founded by a Paris Lawyer, edmond Benoit-Levy, in 1894, with the purpose of popularizing art by holding latera magica shows- what we would call today a slide presentation.... One of Mucha's traits was to personnify ideas in supernatural beings who interacted with ordinary people... Here the lovely female with the flamboyent crown of hair, leaning on the projection machine, symbolized art instruction by means of slides, while the young man in the foreground is a student" (Rennert/Weill p. 116). Mucha uses an abundant amount of gold ink in the hair and eleaborately-wrought frame.
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