Koloman Moser (1868-1918)
Book stamp for Fritz Waerndorfer; showing The Judgement of Paris
1903, reproduction 1965
Museum no. E.1209-1965
In 1903, Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffman brought together a group of artists and designers to form the Wiener Werkstätte, or Vienna Workshops. Fritz Waerndorfer, a wealthy businessman and art-lover, funded them. In the same year, Moser designed this bookplate for Waerndorfer. A bookplate, or ex libris, is pasted into the front of a book as a mark of ownership. A bookplate by a famous artist can also be a status symbol.
The scene depicted here is the Judgement of Paris, a story from classical mythology. In the foreground stand three goddesses: Venus, Juno and Minerva. They are parading in front of Paris whose task it is to choose the most beautiful. The choice of subject matter can perhaps be seen as an artist's flattery of his patron, complimenting him on his good judgement and taste.
This engraving can be found in Print Room Box 1.