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F. Luis Mora (1874-1940)

French Explorers of the Mississippi River

Produced in 1904

Mural Study for the Missouri State Building

For the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

charcoal on Winsor and Newton artist's board

22 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches

estate stamp verso, signature stamp lower right

Condition:  100% All-original. Some smears. Board is brittle with losses under the mat

In newer gilded wood frame, outer size 33 x 32 inches

Provenance:  The estate of F. Luis Mora

F. Luis Mora was commissioned to create murals for the inside of the dome, Missouri State Building, for the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. He documented his work in his diaries, even sketching himself on scaffolding when he was painting. Unfortunately, on the last day of the Fair, the State Building burned down and the murals were lost. It was thought that the only surviving studies were two in the collections of the Phoenix Art Museum.  Happily, a few months ago, further 1904 mural studies were found in the attic of Mora's long-deceased in-laws.

The theme of the Missouri State Building murals is Exploration. Mora focused on Exploration of the Mississippi River by the French in the 17th century. This study pictures two French Musketeers who probably accompanied Robert de LaSalle (1643 1687), who was also pictured in another mural study. In other studies, Mora pays homage to the earlier great explorers , such as his drawing of the fictional Ancient Mariner, a 1797 poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.   Mora's drawing of The Ancient Mariner can be seen by clicking World's Fair Mural 2

Explorers of the Mississippi River

 

          

 

 

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