Alphonse Mucha lithograph

We recently carried out a last minute tricky job for The Mucha Foundation supporting a badly damaged original poster prior to framing for exhibition. These posters seem to be characterised by poor quality paper, touchy gold ink and fugitive colours, combined with gorgeous art nouveau Alphonse Mucha designs too, of course, and really complex printing techniques. The images below show the fold line damage, splits, sections missing and general sorry state of the poster when it arrived.

For treatment, the two previous repair support layers peeled off easily enough and after surface cleaning Geoffrey worked to temporarily hold the splits and weak areas back together with Tengujo tissue from the back (image 5). He then applied an enlarged piece of heavier Japanese tissue to the reverse (image 6) using wheat starch paste carefully tamping it into position (image 7). After drying on a sheet of acrylic, the supported poster was turned and fixed to its aluminium mount board via edge tabs of tissue and wheat starch – which proved very fiddly to tension correctly but we got there. Areas of loss were infilled with shaped tissue patches from the front and then retouched (image 9). Final completed view image 10.

We have two more of these beautiful lithographs to work on which we’ll share here when completed.