F. Luis Mora (1874-1940)
Mural Study for the Missouri State
for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
The Ancient Mariner
charcoal on artist's board, 18 x 19
estate stamp verso, signature stamp
Condition: 100% All-original.
Some smears. Board is brittle with losses under the mat
In newer gilded wood frame, outer size
28 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches (the frame has a slight chip on the
Provenance: The estate of F. Luis
In 1904, F. Luis Mora was commissioned to create murals for the
inside of the dome, Missouri State Building, for the St. Louis World's Fair. He documented his work in his diaries, even sketching himself
scaffolding. 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 studies were found in the attic of
The theme of the World's Fair murals is
Exploration. Because St. Louis is on the Mississippi River, Mora focused on the
river's Exploration by the French in the 17th century. Click
World's Fair Mural 1 to
see Mora's 1904 drawing of 17th century French Musketeers whom Mora
envisioned as accompanying Robert de LaSalle (1643– 1687) on his
historic river voyage.
Mora loved depicting historical figures. In his
1904 murals, he also paid homage to great explorers, including this drawing of
The Ancient Mariner, from the the poem written in 1797 by
Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Mora pictures
the Mariner with great depth of
character, wizened and old, but still making notes and studying the
globe. Note the great attention Mora pays to the wrinkled and
gnarled hands, a sign of
the artist's superb figural draftsmanship.