Monday, October 4, 2010

Petronius and Eunice

Mucha's artwork is astounding by any measure.

This is Quo Vadis, referring not to the biblical references of Jesus, but to Petronius and Eunice of 'the narrative of the time of Nero' by Henryk Sienkiewicz (any ancestral relation to Bill?), who received a Nobel Prize for literature in 1905.

Eunice is a fictitious household slave who has fallen in love with her master, though he learns of her devotion at the moment portrayed here.

Alphonse Mucha — Quo Vadis — 1902


Artman2112 said...

man, i dont know if i ever saw this one before! incredible work, beautiful picture!

Mr. Door Tree said...


I'm sure you are aware of the complicated history of this painting...initially intended as part of the Vienna exhibition in 1904...adding decorative details after that...then planned as a tapestry design that failed... in December 1920 Mucha wrote of repainting this painting and included it for sale in his exhibition in Chicago by Newcomb, Macklin & Co...the unsold painting remained there until 1979 when it was purchased as a worthless folded old canvas that was later identified and restored...WOW...could you imagine unfurling a folded canvas and finding this! Thanks for the great scan Thomas!

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Yes, and wow, indeed, Mr. Door Tree. I do believe there are more treasures out there waiting to be discovered among the dusty corners of the world. Thanks for detailing the history.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where this painting now resides? In a museum or in a private collection?

Gareth Schmeling said...


I am interested in possibly using this picture in a book I am writing on Petronius. This volume on reception would probably be published by a university press. Do you know where Mucha's Petronius and Eunice is and how I would go about geting permission to use.

Thanks, Gareth

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Sorry Mr Schmeling, I know not where this painting is located. Good luck with your search!