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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Alphonse Mucha

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The character of Lorenzaccio, in the play by Alfred de Musset, is based on Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492), the most powerful of the Medicis, who ruled the medieval city-state of Florence. In the play, Lorenzaccio struggles desperately to save Florence, which had grown rich during his rein, from the grip of a power-hungry conqueror. Mucha represents this tyranny by a dragon menacing the city coat of arms, and portrays Lorenzaccio pondering his course of action. First written in 1863, Sarah Bernhardt adapted the play for herself (in the lead role), and the new version, for which this poster was produced, opened December 3, 1896. Never afraid to tackle a male role, Bernhardt  made Lorenzaccio into one of the classic roles her repertoire.

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