World's Fair Mural 2

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F. Luis Mora (1874-1940)

Mural Study for the Missouri State Building, 1904

for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

The Ancient Mariner

charcoal on artist's board, 18 x 19 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 28 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches (the frame has a slight chip on the left)

Provenance:  The estate of F. Luis Mora

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 standing on 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 Mora's niece.

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.

 

Portrait of Vasco de Gama for the Missouri State Building murals at the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

email:  baron@baronart.com   phone:  860-663-0222