Pablo Picasso, Tête de Femme (Portrait de Jacqueline de Face, II), color linoleum cut, 1962, one of approximately 20 artist's proofs, aside from the edition of 50 (estimate: $100,000 to $150,000).
NEW YORK, NY.- On Tuesday, April 29, Swann Galleries will conduct an auction of Old Master Through Modern Prints that features works by Dürer, Rembrandt, Whistler, Hopper, Picasso and more.
A choice selection of prints by the Old Masters includes significant works by Albrecht Dürer, such as St. Anthony Reading, a richly-inked engraving from 1519, the height of Dürer’s career (estimate: $60,000 to $90,000). Also by Dürer are the woodcuts The Vision of the Seven Candlesticks, circa 1497 and The Four Angels Holding the Winds, 1498, from The Apocalypse ($7,000 to $10,000 and $8,000 to $12,000 respectively) and Coat of Arms with a Lion and a Cock, engraving, circa 1503 ($10,000 to $15,000).
Albrecht Dürer, St. Anthony Reading. Engraving, 1519. 108x136 mm; 4 1/4x5 3/8 inches. Estimate $60,000 - 90,000.
A superb, richly-inked Meder a impression, with the 3 vertical scartches in the sky near the far right margin, with the mountain line at left distinct and unbroken and before the scratches to the left of the cross, with all the fine, delicate lines distinct and with strong contrasts and no sign of wear, consistent with the earliest impressions of this subject. Ex-collection two unknown collectors, indiscernible ink stamps verso. Trimmed on the plate mark.
Durer's engraving of St. Anthony, dating from the height of his career, shows the saint hunched, reading on the outskirts of a fortified city (identified by art historian Tietze as combining elements of Trent, Innsbruck and Nuremberg, though recognized by Dürer scholar Thausing as adopted from a drawing titled Pvpila Avgvstathat Dürer had created some 20 years earlier). This is in stark contrast to other contemporaneous Renaissance images of St. Anthony more commonly depicting the saint tormented by demons, under Satan's temptation.
Dürer must have been particularly proud of this engraving, as he gave it as a gift--along with impressions of his more famous St. Jerome--to several prominent figures on at least six occasions during his 1520-21 trip to the Low Countries. In his diary entry for September 3, 1529, from Antwerp, he wrote, "I gave Wilhelm Hauenhut, equerry of Duke Frederick Palatine, an engraved "St. Jerome" and the two new half-sheets: The Virgin and "Anthoni."
Scholars from Panofsky onward have remarked on the "modern" aspect of the composition, in which the huddled form of Saint Anthony echoes that of the walled city behind him. "The scenery almost dominates the composition. It is here a 'cubistic' phenomenon, exclusively composed of such clear-cut stereometric solids as prisms, cubes, pyramids, and cylinders which bring to mind a cluster of crystals," (Panofsky, 1943, volume I, p. 201). In this context, one cannot help but to recall Cezanne's pre-cubistic landscape renderings of Mont Sainte-Victoire, which in turn so profoundly influenced Picasso and Braque. Bartsch 58; Meder 51.
Albrecht Dürer, The Vision of the Seven Candlesticks. Woodcut, circa 1497. 395x285 mm; 15 1/2x11 5/8 inches, small margins. Estimate $7,000 - 10,000.
A superb, evenly-printed and dark impression from the 1498 German text edition, with very strong contrasts and no sign of wear, consistent with the earliest earliest impressions of this subject. From the Apocolypse. Bartsch 62; Meder 164.
Albrecht Dürer, The Four Angels Holding the Winds. Woodcut, 1498. 397x285 mm; 15 5/8x11 1/4 inches, thread margins. Estimate $8,000 - 12,000.
A superb, dark and evenly-printed impression from the 1511 Latin text edition, with strong contrasts. From the Apocalypse. Bartsch 66; Meder 169.
Albrecht Dürer, Coat of Arms with a Lion and a Cock. Engraving, circa 1503. 185x120 mm; 7 1/4x4 3/4 inches. Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
A superb, dark, richly-inked Meder a impression with strong contrasts and no sign of wear. High crown watermark (Meder 20, which he dates from 1480 to 1525). With thread margins outside of the narrow black border line. Bartsch 100; Meder 97.
Excellent examples by Rembrandt van Rijn include Christ Healing the Sick (The Hundred Guilder Print), etching, engraving and drypoint, circa 1643-49, with abundant burr ($80,000 to $120,000) and The Adoration of the Shepherds: with the Lamp, one of six horizontal-format etchings by Rembrandt from around 1654 that he may have intended as a series to illustrate scenes from Christ's childhood ($30,000 to $50,000).
Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Healing the Sick (The Hundred Guilder Print). Etching, engraving and drypoint, circa 1643-49. 279x388 mm; 11 1/8x15 1/4 inches, small margins. Estimate $80,000 - 120,000.
Biörklund's second state (of 2), with the diagonals on the back and neck of the ass at the far right but before the Baillie rework; Usticke's third state (of 5); White and Boon's second state (of 2). Strasburg Lily with pendant initials 4 WR watermark (Hinterding variant I.c.a., page 220, the same watermark is on another early impression of this subject in the Art Institute of Chicago).
A brilliant, richly-inked impression, with abundant burr, notably on the hat of the tallest man to the left of Christ, on the turban and the back of the woman holding the baby before Chist's outstretched right arm, on Christ's hair, on the seated woman and kneeling figure with back turned at Chist's feet and throughout the figures to the right of Christ and on the stones in the arch at the far right. Bartsch 74; Biörklund 49-1; Hollstein (White and Boon) 74.
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Adoration of the Shepherds: with the Lamp. Etching, circa 1654. 103x129 mm; 4 1/8x5 1/8 inches, thread margins. Estimate $30,000 - 50,000.
Biörklund's first state (of 2), with the curved blank space in the cross-hatching upper right; Usticke's first state (e-i) (of 3), with traces of burr lower left; White and Boon's first state (of 2). A superb, richly-inked, early impression with strong contrasts and no sign of wear, with burr in the lower corners and partially inky plate edges, consistent with the earliest impressions of this subject.
One of six etchings by Rembrandt, all in a similar horizontal format, from around 1654, that he may have intended as a series to illustrate scenes from Christ's childhood (Bartsch 45, 47, 55, 63, 64 and 60, see also lots 152, 153, 154, and 155). Bartsch 45; Biörklund 54-1; Hollstein (White and Boon) 45.
Among a fine assortment of Rembrandt’s secular images are portraits of Jan Lutma, Goldsmith, a first state etching and drypoint, 1656, once owned by the renowned English collector John Barnard ($60,000 to $90,000) and Ephraim Bonus, Jewish Physician, etching and drypoint, 1647, one of only a few etched portraits by Rembrandt for which he also made oil studies ($50,000 to $80,000) and landscapes, The Omval, etching and drypoint, 1645, which is among Rembrandt's earliest attempts to render additional tones in his etching through built up use of drypoint ($40,000 to $60,000) and Landscape with a Milkman, etching and drypoint, circa 1650, a scarce work that relates to a pen and ink drawing by Rembrandt from around 1650, Farm Buildings beside a Road, now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford ($30,000 to $50,000).
Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Lutma, Goldsmith. Etching and drypoint, 1656. 200x150 mm; 7 3/4x5 7/8 inches, thread margins. Estimate $60,000 - 90,000.
Biörklund's first state (of 3), before the window and the additional work in the background; Usticke's first state (of 6); White and Boon's first state (of 3). Ex-collection John Barnard (Lugt 1417, verso; this impression cited by Lugt, page 257, and sold at auction in London, April 16, 1798); and Robert Stayner Holford (Lugt 2243, verso). A superb, dark and early lifetime impression with burr on both of the sleeves, on the figurine in Lutma's right hand and throughout Lutma's pants and jacket, consistent with the earliest impressions of this subject.
We have located only 4 other first state impressions at auction in the past 25 years.
According to Luijten, "though Lutma (circa 1584-1669) was already an elderly man when he was portrayed by Rembrandt in this etching, he was probably still working as a silversmith. Yet despite the presence of a hammer and a pot containing punches, he is not working here but posing. He holds one of his creations--an object with a turned stem, possibly a candlestick--in his right hand, and beside him on the table is a chased silver drinking bowl," (Rembrandt the Printmaker, London, 2000, page 332). There is a similar silver bowl made by Lutma, circa 1641, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
There are approximately 34 extant impressions of the first state of this subject on both European and Japanese papers. At some point, Rembrandty reworked the plate considerably, adding the entire background.
This famous impression, once owned by the renowned English collector of Rembrandt etchings, John Barnard (whose ink initials are visible from the verso of the sheet through to the recto upper left), compares very closely in quality with the first state impression in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (RP-P-OB-550), on which there is also a mark ghosting through to the recto upper left. Bartsch 276; Biörklund 56-C; Hollstein (White and Boon) 276.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Ephraim Bonus, Jewish Physician. Etching and drypoint, 1647. 221x178 mm; 8 3/4x7 inches, thread margins. Estimate $50,000 - 80,000.
Biörklund's second state (of 2); Usticke's first state (e) (of l); White and Boon's second state (of 2). Ex-collection Bernhard Keller (Lugt 384); Henry F. Sewall (Lugt 1309); unknown collector, indiscernible letter "H" ink stamp (possibly Lugt 1279, lower right recto); the Albertina, Vienna (Lugt 5g, verso), sold through Boerner, Leipzig, May 3, 1932, lot 73; Anderson Galleries, New York; G. W. Nowell-Usticke, author of one of the standard catalogues raisonné of Rembrandt's etchings, his sale Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, November 1, 1967, lot 178; to the current owner. A brilliant, richly-inked impression of this extremely scarce portrait, with strong burr on the ring and right hand, on the banisters and with traces of burr throughout, with no sign of wear, consistent with the earliest impressions of this subject.
We have found approximately only 20 other impressions at auction in the past 25 years.
"The physician and writer Ephraïm Hezekiah Bueno (1599-1665), also known by the Latinized name Bonus, came from a Portugese Jewish family that had already produced a number of renonwed doctors," according to Hinterding, "Bueno wrote poems in Spanish, made translations, and was also an important backer of the Jewish printing-house run by Samuel Menasseh ben Israel, as well as being one of its customers," (Rembrandt the Printmaker, London, 2000, page 227). Menasseh ben Israel was Rembrandt's neighbor in Amsterdam (as well as the subject of another etched portrait by Rembrandt) and it was likely he who introduced Rembrandt to Bueno.
This is one of only a few etched portraits by Rembrandt for which he also made oil studies (another is Lieven Willemsz van Coppenol, Writing Master: larger plate, etching, circa 1658, see lot 166). The small oil portrait of Bueno, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, shows the doctor in roughly the same pose, albeit in reverse. One significant difference between the two portraits is that in the oil study Bueno's gaze is fixed directly at the viewer whereas in the etching he stares off to the right, giving him a more thoughtful, distant expression. Bartsch 278; Biörklund 47-A; Hollstein (White and Boon) 278.
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Omval. Etching and drypoint, 1645. 186x227 mm; 7 3/8x9 inches. Estimate $40,000 - 60,000.
Usticke's third state (of 4); White and Boon's second state (of 2). Trimmed on the plate mark. A very good impression of this scarce landscape etching, with contrasts and with burr on the foliage lower left and on the signature and date lower right.
According to Royalton-Kisch, "The area of Amsterdam still known as the Omval (the Ruin; a ruin formerly stood on the site) was in the 17th century a small spit of land at the head of a canal which entered the east bank of the River Amstel south east of the city. Like the ruins of Kostverloren manor further south, this was an area often represented by Rembrandt and his contemporaries," (Rembrandt the Printmaker, London, 2000, page 210). A man standing with his back to the viewer on the bank at the far right and figures in the boat on the canal at the far right are readily apparent; less visible are a pair of lovers in the shadow of the gnarled tree at the left, similar to those more famously shadowed lovers in Rembrandt's The Three Trees, etching, 1643 (Bartsch 212), here the man is placing a garland on the head of his beloved.
This is among Rembrandt's earliest attempts to render additional tones in his etching through built up use of expressive drypoint; interestingly he also used pure drypoint for his signature and the date lower right. Bartsch 209; Biörklund 45-B; Hollstein (White and Boon 209).
Rembrandt van Rijn, Landscape with a Milkman. Etching and drypoint, circa 1650. 66x175 mm; 2 3/4x7 inches. Estimate $30,000 - 50,000.
Biörklund's second state (of 2), with the landscape added upper left; Usticke's second state (e) (of 2); White and Boon's second state (of 2). With thread margins or trimmed on the plate mark. A superb, early impression of this extremely scarce etching, with richly-inked burr throughout, particularly on the man, dog and grass tufts lower right, on the clump of trees at the center and on the water lower left.
We have found only approximately 12 other impressions at auction in the past 25 years.
This scarce landscape etching relates to a pen and ink drawing by Rembrandt from around 1650, Farm Buildings beside a Road, now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Benesch 1227). Rembrandt likely made the drawing en plein air, at a farmstead on the outskirts of Amsterdam, and created the current etching from this drawing, and perhaps parts of other sketches, back in his studio. It is one of only two known landscape etchings by Rembrandt for which there exist what appear to be "preparatory" studies (the other is theGoldweigher's Field, 1651, Bartsch 234).
While no lifetime records exist which indicate that Rembrandt made any of his landscape etchings outdoors, on the spot, the 18th century collector and art historian Edmé-François Gersaint wrote that Rembrandt made one of his most celeberated landscape prints,Six's Bridge, etching, 1645 (Bartsch 208), on a sketching trip outside of Amsterdam while his servant was fetching mustard for him for lunch from the local village. Recent scholarship has shown that several other landscapes were likely drawn onto prepared etching plates by Rembrandt while he was sketching outdoors. These landscape etchings share an immediacy and spontainety withLandscape with a Milkman which suggest that all of them may well have been started by the artist outdoors and completed in the studio--mainly with additional drypoint work--with the aid of drawings that were also made on the spot or that Rembrandt had created during previous sketching forays into the countryside around Amsterdam. Bartsch 213; Biörklund 50-2; Hollstein (White and Boon) 213.
A modern work that exhibits the influence of Rembrandt and other Old Masters is Edward Hopper’s 1921 etching Evening Wind, which reflects the artist’s characteristic sense of stillness and isolation, which he dramatized with the use of dark hatching, and his recurring theme of a lone woman before a window ($80,000 to $120,000).
Edward Hopper, Evening Wind. Etching, 1921. 180x212 mm; 7x8 1/4 inches, full margins. Estimate $80,000 - 120,000.
Signed in pencil, lower right, and titled and priced ("$30") by the artist in pencil, lower left. Partial Umbria watermark. A brilliant, richly-inked impression of this extremely scarce, important etching, with very strong contrasts, with all the details distinct and with no sign of wear.
According to an account by Hopper explaining his printing methods, "The best prints were done on an Italian paper called 'Umbria' and was the whitest paper I could get. The ink was an intense black that I sent for to Kimber in London, as I could not get an intense enough black here. I had heard so much of the beauty of old paper that I tried some 18th century ledger paper, but it did not give me the contrast and brilliance that I wished, and I did not use it," (Levin, Edward Hopper, The Complete Prints, New York, 1979, page 11).
Hopper (1882-1967) was born in Nyack, New York, just north of New York City. After briefly studying at the Correspondence School of Illustrating (1899-1900), he attended the New School of Art from 1900 to 1906. Hopper studied painting and life drawing under Kenneth Hayes Miller, Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase alongside classmates George Bellows, Guy Pene du Bois and Rockwell Kent. At 24-years old, Hopper left for Paris, where he stayed for over a year (he returned to Europe again in 1909 and 1910). These European trips were crucial to his development as an artist, and even though he never returned to Paris, he portrayed a romanticized ideal of the place in many of his works until 1924, at which time he ceased using overt French imagery altogether. While many American artists who visited Paris during this time were most struck by the avant-garde movements of Fauvism and Cubism, Hopper paid them little attention and instead studied Degas and Manet, as well as Rembrandt and other Old Masters.
Hopper never chose to characterize himself as an illustrator or printmaker, preferring to be known as a painter, but ironically he found commercial success and a livelihood through both of these downplayed endeavors. Hopper began working as an illustrator in 1905 with C. C. Phillips & Company, New York, and greatly supplemented his income through illustration work through the early 1900s. He did not find sound financial footing through sales of his paintings until after 1924, following a sold out exhibition of his work, at Rehn Gallery, New York.
Hopper's first foray into printmaking came at the encouragement of then-fellow illustrator Martin Lewis, in 1915 (see lots 301-307), who instructed him on the technical aspects of the medium. Despite receiving this initial instruction on printmaking from Lewis, their styles were markedly different: Lewis employed a variety of complicated techniques to obtain his desired tonal effects, while Hopper had a much simpler approach, only ever working in etching and drypoint. (Before he began etching in 1915, Hopper produced several monotypes, a medium viewed as an intermediary step between painting and printing.) Lewis focused on printmaking throughout his artistic career, while Hopper produced approximately 70 prints over a relatively short period of time. His career as an etcher was particularly short-lived and essentially ended in 1923; in 1928 he made his final prints, two drypoints, before abandoning printmaking altogether to focus on painting.
Hopper quickly mastered etching and drypoint. He had a relatively simple and steadfast preference when it came to printmaking: very black ink on very white paper; plates that were deeply bitten and clean-wiped; producing impressions that came out inky with brilliant contrasts. While creating seemingly straightforward, realist compositions, Hopper imbued his scenes with mood and emotion, aptly capturing the intangible quality of a fleeting moment. His work is characterized by a sense of stillness and isolation, which he often dramatized with the use of heavy chiaroscuro and strong, dark hatching, such as in Evening Wind, one of his most celebrated etchings. The image of a lone woman before a window appears repeatedly in his oeuvre, and is an arrangement employed by one of his greatly-admired influences, Degas. Windows crop up frequently in Hopper's work, as symbols of the contrast between quiet interior moments and the busy outside world. Psychologically, Hopper's figures are often caught in moments of contemplation or seeming boredom--scenes of stillness indicative of loneliness and weariness.
Hopper's rapidly-gained proficiency as an etcher, his unique style and perspective, and the number of absolutely masterful prints that he created over his short career as a printmaker earn him a place as one of the most important American graphic artists of the 20th century. Zigrosser 9; Levin 77.
Also among American Art highlights is a run of Martin Lewis’s celebrated NYC views, including East Side Night, Williamsburg Bridge, drypoint, 1928 ($7,000 to $10,000); Shadow Dance, drypoint and sandpaper ground, 1930 ($20,000 to $30,000); and Arch, Midnight, drypoint, 1930 ($8,000 to $12,000); and urban depictions by other artists such as Raphael Soyer’s sympathetic view of Depression-era homeless men in a New York soup kitchen, The Mission, lithograph, 1933 ($12,000 to $18,000); Reginald Marsh’s crowded Coney Island Beach, etching, 1935 ($4,000 to $6,000); Ben Shahn’s first color print, Seward Park (New York), color lithograph, 1936, one of only six known impressions ($30,000 to $50,000); and Samuel L. Margolies’s Men of Steel, drypoint, circa 1940 ($7,000 to $10,000).
Martin Lewis, East Side Night, Williamsburg Bridge. Drypoint, 1928. 250x303 mm; 9 7/8x12 inches, full margins. Edition of approximately 70. Estimate $7,000 - 10,000.
Signed and inscribed "imp." in pencil, lower margin. A very good, dark and evenly-printed impression with strong contrasts. McCarron 71.
Martin Lewis, Shadow Dance. Drypoint and sandpaper ground, 1930. 235x275 mm; 9x10 3/4 inches, full margins. Edition of 109. Estimate $20,000 - 30,000.
Signed in pencil, lower right. A superb, richly-inked impression with all the fine details distinct.
Among Lewis's most masterful prints are those depicting scenes of New York City life. These prints have historical interest, as the imagery captures the architecture of the time, while simultaneously incorporating ephemeral moments. The time of day, the weather, the lighting, the street-level views--each aspect was important and added to the atmosphere of the scene. Lewis' use of shadows and light to create mood, life and movement is most powerful in his New York prints. Shadow Dance and the preceding 4 lots are among his most celebrated works, incorporating all of the aspects that make his prints such cherished glimpses into New York's bustling yester-year, while simultaneously capturing the timelessness of city life. McCarron 88.
Martin Lewis, Arch, Midnight. Drypoint printed in black on cream laid paper, 1930. 205x295 mm; 8 1/8x11 5/8 inches, full margins. Edition of 99. Estimate $8,000 - 12,000.
Signed in pencil, lower right. A brilliant, luminous and richly-inked impression with velvety burr. McCarron 84.
Raphael Soyer, The Mission. Lithograph, 1933. 310x452 mm; 12 1/4x17 3/4 inches, full margins. Edition of 25. Estimate $12,000 - 18,000.
Signed twice in pencil, lower margin. A superb impression of this very scarce, early lithograph. Raphael Soyer (1899-1987) and twin brother Moses were born in southern Russia into a liberal, intellectual family. They were joined by four siblings before the Soyer family was forced to leave their home by Russian authorities in 1912 and subsequently emigrated to America. Both brothers fostered an early interest in art and, when their mother gave them money for a small etching press in 1917, they enthusiastically began to make prints in their small New York apartment. Raphael attended the Cooper Union and continued his artistic studies at the National Academy of Design in 1918, discovering art history through lectures and perusing the Academy's library (where he fostered an affinity for Degas).
In 1920, Raphael began to make lithographs under the instruction of the printer Jacob Friedland before studying with Guy Pène du Bois at the Art Students League a few years later. Soyer exhibited his work for the first time in 1926 at the Salons of America, and in 1932 the Whitney Museum bought one of his paintings (his first purchase by a museum). He began to exhibit increasingly in the 1930s and began to gain commercial success. Prior to this more widespread recognition, Raphael worked in a naïve style and recorded scenes from his personal life, capturing his immediate surroundings with friends and family as principal subjects. In the 1930s, he began to depict a more diverse range of subjects, ranging from the classic female nude to current events--episodes dominated by the Great Depression. Among Soyer's most celebrated lithographs, The Mission is a Depression-era view of homeless men in a New York soup kitchen (it is also commonly seen as a companion print to the equally important Bowery Nocturne, lithograph, from the same year, see Cole 28). Raphael was an avid printmaker throughout his career, loyally creating more than 250 lithographs and etchings for some 65 years. Cole 27.
Reginald Marsh, Coney Island Beach. Etching, 1935. 228x305 mm; 9x12 inches, full margins. Fourth state (of 4). Edition of approximately only 24. Estimate $4,000 - 6,000.
Signed and inscribed "IV 19/50" in pencil, lower right. A superb impression of this very scarce etching, with strong contrasts and crisp, inky plate edges.
The intended edition was 50, thus Marsh's numbering on this impression, though the highest recorded impression according to Sasowsky is 24 (in the collection of the New York Public Library). Sasowsky 159.
Ben Shahn, Seward Park (New York). Color lithograph printed in red, green, yellow, blue, black, gray and tan, 1936. 300x450 mm; 11 3/4x17 3/4 inches, full margins. Estimate $30,000 - 50,000.
Artist's proof, aside from the very small unspecified edition, with registration marks in the margins. Signed in red ink, lower right. A superb, richly-inked impression with strong colors of this early and extremely scrarce print.
This is Shahn's first color print; Prescott cites only 6 known impressions from an unspecified edition. We have found only two other impressions at auction in the past 25 years; the last impression sold at Swann, May 2, 2002, lot 739. Prescott 1.
Samuel L. Margolies, Men of Steel. Drypoint, circa 1940. 378x295 mm; 14 7/8x11 5/8 inches, full margins. Edition of 250. Estimate $7,000 - 10,000
Signed in pencil, lower margin. Published by Associated American Artists, New York. A brilliant, richly-inked impression with every detail distinct.
More bucolic are Frank W. Benson’s The Punter, etching, 1927 ($1,500 to $2,500); Grant Wood’s March, lithograph, 1939 ($5,000 to $8,000) and Thomas Hart Benton’s Running Horses, lithograph, 1955 ($7,000 to $10,000).
Frank W. Benson, The Punter. Etching, 1927. 200x300 mm; 7 7/8x11 7/8 inches, full margins. Edition of 150. Estimate $1,500 - 2,500.
Signed in pencil, lower left. A superb, richly-inked and luminous impression. Paff 273.
Grant Wood, March. Lithograph, 1939. 228x302 mm; 9x12 inches, full margins. Edition of 250. Estimate $5,000 - 8,000.
Signed in pencil, lower right. Published by Associated American Artists, New York. A superb impression. Cole 14.
Thomas Hart Benton, Running Horses. Lithograph, 1955. 316x421 mm; 12 1/2x16 5/8 inches, full margins. Edition of 100. Estimate $7,000 - 10,000.
Signed in pencil, lower right. Published by Associated American Artists, New York. A superb, dark and richly-inked impression of this very scarce lithograph. Fath 78.
Featured works by James A.M. Whistler among the sale’s 19th-century highlights are Upright Venice, circa 1879-80, a crisp, early impression, with warm plate tone and every detail distinct and Nocturne, lithograph, 1878, aside from the edition of 100 printed on light blue paper ($30,000 to $50,000 each).
James A.M. Whistler, Upright Venice. Etching printed in dark brownish black on antique, cream laid paper, circa 1879-80. 256x179 mm; 10 1/8x7 inches. Estimate $30,000 - 50,000.
MacDonald's seventh state (of 8), with the figure of the gondolier on the gondola stern still partially visible. Edition of approximately 30. Signed with the butterfly and inscribed "imp." in pencil on the tab, lower left. From Twenty-Six Etchings. A superb, crisp, early impression, with warm plate tone and every detail distinct. Kennedy 205; Glasgow 232.
James A.M. Whistler, Nocturne. Lithograph on cream laid appliqué on heavy cream wove paper, 1878. 172x258 mm; 6 3/4x10 1/4 inches, full margins. Second state (of 2). Estimate $30,000 - 50,000.
An early impression in this state, aside from the edition of 100 printed on light blue laid appliqué for Notes, with remnants of the pooled washes at the left edge still distinct. Signed in pencil, lower right.
Spink notes that all but one known impression of the second state are printed in black on light blue laid appliqué. According to the catalogue raisonné, the only other known impression of the second state not printed on light blue laid appliqué is in the Cincinnati Art Museum (though another similar impression, separate from the current impression, sold at Swann, April 28, 2011, auction 2245, lot 217).
Spink cites only three signed impressions, all in the first state, and adds that, "It is not clear if the entire edition was printed in 1878/79, when an unsuccessful attempt was made to enlist subscribers for Whistler's Art Notes series, or if most of the impressions were pulled in 1887 for the revamped portfolio project, Notes. The existence of a number of proofs signed in graphite on the plate paper with Whistler's name rather than the butterfly monogram suggests that at least part of the edition was printed in 1879, when it was still his practice to sign his work this way," (The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, Chicago, 1998, volume I, page 63).
The reflections and shadows in the middle ground on this impression are more defined and resemble the first state impressions closer than those in the second state on light blue laidappliqué .
An extremely scarce, early lithograph. We have found only 10 other impressions of this subject at auction in the past 25 years. Way 5; Levy 11; Spink 8.
Also from that century are Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Mademoiselle Marcel Lender, en buste, color lithograph, 1895 ($15,000 to $20,000) and Femme qui se lave, la Toilette, lithograph on Japan paper, 1896 ($10,000 to $15,000) and Odilon Redon’s Vieux Chevalier, lithograph on Chine appliqué, 1896 ($8,000 to $12,000).
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Mademoiselle Marcel Lender, en buste..Color lithograph, 1895. 329x244 mm; 13x9 5/8 inches, wide margins. Fourth state (of 4), as published in Pan. Edition of 1100. Estimate $15,000 - 20,000.
A very good impression, with strong colors and with most of the printed text lower left. Delteil 102; Adhémar 131; Adriani 115.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Femme qui sa lave, la Toilette. Color lithograph on Japan paper, 1896. 525x403 mm; 20 5/8x16 inches, full margins. Edition of 100. Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
Inscribed "Serie no. 60 Gp" in ink, lower right recto. Published by Gustave Pellet, Paris. G. Pellet/T. Lautrec watermark. From Elles. A good impression of this very scarce lithograph. Delteil 184; Adhémar 205; Adriani 176.
Odilon Redon, Vieux Chevalier. Lithograph on Chine appliqué, 1896. 302x236 mm; 11 7/8x9 1/4 inches, full margins. Edition of 100. Estimate $8,000 - 12,000.
Initialed and numbered "29" in pencil, lower left. Printed by August Clot, Paris. Published by Vollard, Paris. From Album des Peintres-Graveurs. A brilliant, richly-inked and luminous impression. Mellerio 158.
The item with the highest pre-sale estimate is Pablo Picasso’s portrait of his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, Tête de Femme (Portrait de Jacqueline de Face, II), color linoleum cut, 1962, which is one of approximately 20 artist's proofs, aside from the edition of 50 ($100,000 to $150,000).
Pablo Picasso, Tête de Femme (Portrait de Jacqueline de Face, II). Color linoleum cut, 1962. 645x526 mm; 25 1/4x20 3/4 inches, full margins. Estimate $100,000 - 150,000.
One of approximately only 20 artist's proofs, aside from the edition of 50. Signed and inscribed "Epreuve d'artiste" in pencil, lower margin. A brilliant, richly-inked impression of this large, important print, with vibrant colors.
Among the more than 150 color linoleum cuts that Picasso produced during the 1950s and 1960s, none stand out for their boldness of execution and sheer artistry more than his colorful, semi-abstract portraits of his second wife, Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986). Picasso's entry to the medium of color linoleum cut coincided with his introduction to Jacqueline in the early 1950s; he had tried his hand at a few monochromatic linoleum cuts in the 1930s but never pursued the medium any further until the mid 1950s.
Abandoned by her father, Jacqueline was 18 years old when her mother died of a stroke. Following a short marriage to an engineer named André Hutin, Jacqueline settled in southern France in the ealy 1950s and took a job at the Madoura pottery workshop in Vallauris. Picasso met Jacqueline, then 27 years old, in 1953 while he was beginning what would become a creative outburst of limited edition pottery at the Madoura workshop. They were married in 1955, following the death of Picasso's first wife, Olga Koklova.
In these color linoleum cut portraits of Jacqueline, Picasso exaggerates her dark eyes, arching eyebrows and high cheekbones. These characteristics would become steadfast in his later portraiture. Picasso's series of paintings that derived from Eugène Delacroix's The Women of Algiers was said to be inspired by Roque's beauty. Picasso declared that "Delacroix had already met Jacqueline," reflecting on his painting her into the famous series; similarly inspired was Picasso's portrait of Jacqueline as Lola de Valence, an ode to her beauty playing on Édouard Manet's iconic portrait of the famed Spanish dancer.
Jacqueline's later years with Picasso were fraught with hardship and contention. After his death in 1973 she spent years in litigation with Picasso's mistress François Gilot and his children over his estate. Sadly, she committed suicide 13 years after Picasso's death, on the eve of the opening of an upcoming exhibition of her private collention of Picasso's work in Spain. Bloch 1063; Baer 1280.
Also among a range of works by Picasso are Tête de Femme, etching, 1905, from a deluxe edition of approximately 28 on Japan paper ($7,000 to $10,000); the 1931 drypoint Homme dévoilant une Femme, one of 50 on grand papier vergé de Montval ($15,000 to $20,000) and after prints including Bouteille de Rhum, color collotype and stencil, circa 1965, based on the same-titled oil painting now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ($10,000 to $15,000).
Pablo Picasso, Tête de Femme. Etching on thin, cream laid Japan paper, 1905. 121x90 mm; 4x3 1/2 inches, narrow (full ?) margins. Estimate $7,000 - 10,000.
The deluxe edition of only approximately 28 on Japan paper, aside from the regular edition of 250 on wove paper. Printed by Louis Fort, Paris. Published by Vollard, Paris. From Saltimbanques. A superb, dark and richly-inked impression of this scarce, early etching. Bloch 2; Geiser 3.
Pablo Picasso, Homme dévoilant une Femme. Drypoint, 1931. 366x298 mm; 14 1/2x11 3/4 inches, full margins. Estimate $15,000 - 20,000.
The deluxe edition of 50 on grand papier vergé de Montval, aside from the regular, smaller sheet edition of 260. Signed in pencil, lower right. Printed by Lacourière, Paris. Published by Vollard, Paris. A brilliant, richly-inked impression with velvety-black burr throughout. Bloch 138; Geiser 203.
Pablo Picasso (after), Bouteille de Rhum. Color collotype and stencil, circa 1965. 600x495 mm; 23 5/8x19 1/2 inches, full margins.Estimate $10,000 - 15,000
Signed and numbered 90/250 in pencil, lower margin, and numbered 90/250 in ink, verso. Published by Guy Spitzer, Paris, with the blind stamp lower left recto and the ink stamp verso. A superb impression of this large Cubist print, with strong colors.
Based on the same-title oil painting now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998, accession number 1999.363.63). This painting, created during the summer of 1911 in the French Pyrenees town of Céret, dates from Picasso's most abstract phase of Cubism, known as "high" Analytic Cubism. Indeed, it is difficult to decipher the bottle of rum alluded to in the title. This is one of the first works in which Picasso included letter forms. Visible on the left hand side of the composition, the letters LETR might refer to the popular bullfighting magazine Le Torero, which Picasso as an avid fan surely would have known, or perhaps they are simply a pun on the French "lettre" or "word."
Henri Matisse’s 1929 lithograph La Persane—so lovely it was chosen for the catalogue cover—is a very scarce and important print ($50,000 to $80,000) while other works by the artist include after prints such as Odalisque sur la Terrasse, color aquatint, 1922-23 ($10,000 to $15,000).
Henri Matisse, La Persane. Lithograph, 1929. 448x290 mm; 17 5/8x11 3/8 inches, full margins. Estimate $50,000 - 80,000.
Signed and numbered 44/50 in pencil, lower right. A superb, richly-inked and strongly-printed impression of this very scarce, important lithograph.
Born in the north of France to a family of weavers and grain merchants, Matisse (1869-1954) grew up in a rustic, pre-industrial town. In 1889, after passing the bar exam and becoming a law clerk (which he found exceedingly tedious), he was diagnosed with appendicitis. During his convalescence, his mother bought him art supplies and it was only then that he began to paint. He left for Paris in 1891 to begin his formal art education. Matisse went to the traditional schools and was trained in the academic manner, a background evidenced by his early drawings. Nevertheless, he soon began to experiment with the flurry of new styles and movements taking shape at the time, fraternizing with other Post Impressionists and influential contemporaries in Paris, aligning himself with a group of like-minded artists who would become the Fauves.
Matisse and the Fauves met great criticism when they debuted in Paris at the famous Salon d'Automne in 1905. This exhibition gave birth to the moniker, Fauves (meaning "wild beasts"), because of their perceived violent disregard for realistic use of color and form. While he exhibited with other Fauves such as Derain, Vlaminck and Van Dongen, Matisse experienced the lion's share of criticism for his painting Woman with a Hat, 1905. In this early work, Matisse fused Pointillist color theory with Cézanne's rich, painterly impasto in what contemporary critics regarded as a disregard for artistic sanctity.
After his initial adherence to Fauvism, Matisse explored varied styles and themes. In the latter years of his life, after having battled cancer and confinement to a wheelchair in 1941, Matisse focused on collage using paper cutouts (see lot 381). La Persane, considered among Matisse's most important lithographs, marks what is known as his "Nice period," spanning approximately 15 years from around 1917 to 1930, during which he lived in the south of France and focused on portraits of female models dressed in exotic, foreign costumes set before decorative backdrops.
Though primarily known for his paintings and sculptures, Matisse was also a prolific printmaker, producing over 800 individual prints (typically in editions of 25 to 50) from 1900 to 1954. He moved freely between various printmaking techniques and used each as an extension of his drawing style and process. The imagery he created often was repeated forms of reclining nudes, portraits and dancing bodies drawn with elegant and energetic contour lines. For Matisse, printmaking spurred creativity and innovation while also enabling him to produce further works in multiples to satisfy the increasing demand for his art. While Matisse's prints are still relatively under-appreciated next to his paintings and sculptures, their wide dissemination and demand undoubtedly contributed immensely to his position as a preeminent artist of the 20th century. Duhuit 507.
Henri Matisse (after), Odalisque sur la Terrasse. Color aquatint, 1922-23. 483x601 mm; 19x23 3/4 inches, full margins. Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
Signed by Matisse and numbered 34/200 in ink, lower margin. Etched by Jacques Villon. Published by Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris. A very good, well-inked impression, with strong colors.
Property of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, sold to benefit the acquisitions fund.
This color aquatint is based on the same-title oil by Matisse, now in a private collection, New York. Ginestet/Pouillon 633 (Villon); Duthuit I.
Highlights by artists working in etching include Giorgio Morandi’s extremely scarce, early etching Natura Morta con Tazzina e Caraffa, on India collé, 1929, which relates to one of three important oil still lifes that Morandi painted in the late 1920s and exhibited in the 1931 Quadriennale, Rome ($40,000 to $60,000); Marc Chagall’s Bible, portfolio with complete text and 105 etchings, 1931-39 ($80,000 to $120,000); and René Magritte’s Paysage de Baucis (Self Portrait with a Hat), 1966 ($15,000 to $20,000).
Giorgio Morandi, Natura Morta con Tazzina e Caraffa. Etching on India collé, 1929. 238x294 mm; 9 1/2x11 1/2 inches, wide margins. Estimate $40,000 - 60,000.
First state (of 2). Signed and numbered 18/40 in pencil, lower margin. Ex-collection private collection, Connecticut, gifted from private collection, Milan, thence by descent to the current owners. A superb, dark and richly-inked impression of this extremely scarce, early etching, with strong contrasts and no sign of wear.
This etching relates to one of three important oil still lifes that Morandi painted in the late 1920s and exhibited in the 1931 Quadriennale, Rome.
We have found only 4 other impressions of this subject at auction in the past 25 years. Vitali 56.
Marc Chagall, Bible. Portfolio with complete text and 105 etchings, 1931-39. 430x332 mm; 17x13 1/8 inches (sheets), full margins, loose as issued. Estimate $80,000 - 120,000.
One of 275 numbered copies. Signed in ink and numbered "187" on the justification page. Printed by Haasen, Paris. Published by Tériade, Paris. Gray pasteboard portfolio folders and gray linen slipcase. Very good, richly-inked impressions of these important prints.
Chagall commenced this project, one of the few major Bible illustrations of the 20th century, after his return from travels to Jerusalem in the early 1930s. The legendary Parisian publisher Ambroise Vollard commissioned the project. By the time of Vollard's death in 1939, Chagall had completed 105 etchings; these were proved by the printer Maurice Potin in Paris. Tériade resumed the project and ultimately saw the portfolio to publication, with the plates printed by Haasen, in 1956. Vollard 199-303.
René Magritte, Paysage de Baucis (Self Portrait with a Hat). Etching printed in black on cream wove paper, 1966. 225x166 mm; 9x6 1/2 inches, full margins. Estimate $15,000 - 20,000. .
Signed and numbered 49/100 in pencil, lower margin. Printed by Georges Visat, Paris. A very good, evenly-printed impression with strong contrasts. Kaplan/Baum 5.
Also of note are two prints on Japan paper by Maurits C. Escher, Puddle, color woodcut, 1952 ($20,000 to $30,000) and Swans, wood engraving on Japan paper, 1956 ($15,000 to $20,000); and Bernard Buffet’s Mon Cirque, portfolio with complete text and 44 color lithographs and an additional suite of 44 pencil-signed and numbered color lithographs, 1968 ($30,000 to $50,000).
Maurits C. Escher, Puddle. Estimate $20,000 - 30,000.
Color woodcut printed in green, brown and black on thin, cream laid Japan paper, 1952. 240x319 mm; 9 1/2x12 1/2 inches, wide margins. Signed and inscribed "eigendruck" in pencil, lower margin. A superb impression with strong colors. Bool 378.
Maurits C. Escher, Swans. Estimate $15,000 - 20,000.
Wood engraving on thin, cream laid Japan paper, 1956. 199x319 mm; 7 7/8x12 1/2 inches, full margins. Signed and inscribed "eigendruck" in pencil, lower margin. A super, richly-inked and evenly-printed impression of this very scarce print, with strong contrasts. Bool 408.
Bernard Buffet, Mon Cirque. Estimate $30,000 - 50,000.
Portfolio with complete text and 44 color lithographs (3 double-page) and an additional suite of 44 pencil-signed and numbered color lithographs, 1968. 719x511 mm; 28 1/4x20 1/8 inches (sheets), full margins, loose as issued.
Edition of 120. Signed and numbered "22" in pencil on the justification page. Each of the color lithographs in the additional suite signed in ink and numbered 22/120 in pencil, lower margin. Printed and published by Mourlot, Paris.
Original red printed paper folder wrappers and beige linen portfolio case. Superb impressions with vibrant colors, very scarce as a complete set. Sorlier 140-185.
The auction will take place on Tuesday, April 29, in two sessions starting at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The works of art will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries on Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, April 26, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.