DONNEZ-NOUS AUJOURD’HUI NOTRE PAIN QUOTIDIEN

Alphonse Mucha
DONNEZ-NOUS AUJOURD’HUI NOTRE PAIN QUOTIDIEN
lithograph
1899

An original Alphonse Mucha lithograph print.

(Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread)

1899

Original lithograph printed in colors on Marais wove paper

A richly printed impression of the definitive state, from the French edition of 390 (there was also a Czech edition of 120, for an overall edition of 510).  The fifth of eight ornamental plates illustrating the book Le Pater.  Published by Henri Piazza et Cie., Paris, December, 1899; printed by F. Champenois, Paris. 

Catalog: Bridges L23 (V)

14 3/8 x 10 7/8 inches

Sheet Size: 15 x 11 inches

In 1899 Alphonse Mucha reached his greatest achievement as a book illustrator and thinker with Otcenas, or in French Le Pater, illustrating the Lord’s Prayer.  In its symbolic concept, Le Pater is Mucha’s most revealing creation, a complete statement of his artistic, philosophical, and religious beliefs at the turn of the century.  His personal belief was that art had one purpose, to spread light among people.  Mucha wrote of Le Pater: “At the time I saw my path as lying elsewhere, somewhat higher.  I was looking round for a means to spread light that would reach even into the remotest corners.  I did not have to look long.  The Lord’s Prayer.  Why not give its words pictorial expression?”
In Le Pater Mucha divides the prayer into seven verses.  He analyses each verse in a set of three decorative pages.  On the first page, in color, he presents the verse in Latin and French surrounded by a decorative composition which incorporates geometric and symbolic motifs.  On the second page, Mucha gives his commentary on the verse, emulating a medieval illuminated manuscript in the decoration of the colored initial letter The third page is a monochrome pictorial representation of Mucha’s commentary.  These visionary illustrations represent man’s struggle as he journeys from darkness to light. 

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