Author Archive

Saints Simon and Matthew

Monday, May 2nd, 2022

ISRAHEL VAN MECKENEM
ca. 144045 Bocholt 1503

Saints Simon and Matthew

engraving; 212 x 142 mm

Geisberg 249; Lehrs and Hollstein 298 first state (of two)

WATERMARK
quartered coat of arms with fleur-de-lis and dolphin
(cf. Briquet 1647, documented between 1470 and 1500)

PROVENANCE
Counts Maltzan, Militisch, Silesia (not annotated, cf. Lugt 3024a)
Richard Zinser, Forest Hill, New York (Lugt 5581)
N.G. Stogdon, Catalogue XI: Early Northern Engravings, 1998, lot 25
private collection, Connecticut

An unusually superb impression for a fifteenth-century print; it was known to Lehrs who assigned it a *** rating. The engraving retains even the finest burin lines, thereby allowing for the full plasticity of the figures and the three-dimensionality of the architectural space that serves as a setting for the two half-length apostles.

The print belongs to a series of all twelve apostles depicted in six prints. Joined together, the words below form the Apostles Creed. The historical context is the belief, first documented in a letter of St. Ambrose from ca. 390 CE, that each of the apostles had contributed an article to the Christian Churchs central statement of faith. In this image, St. Simon, on the left, is associated with the forgiveness of sins whereas St. Matthew, the author of the first Gospel, points to his text (The holy Catholic Church).

Brooklyn Bridge

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

Brooklyn Bridge = 1929, Lithograph.

Louis Lozowick (1892-1973), Brooklyn Bridge = 1929, Lithograph.

Flint 48. Edition 100. Signed, dated ‘30, and numbered 1/100 in pencil. Signed with the artist’s monogram in the stone, lower left. Titled in the lower left margin, in the artist’s hand. Annotated TO LEONARD SPIGELGASS, in pencil.

Image size 13 x 7 7/8 inches (330 x 200 mm); sheet size 15 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches (400 x 286 mm).

A superb, richly-inked impression, on cream wove paper; with full margins (1 to 3 1/4 inches), in excellent condition.

Reproduced and exhibited: Manhattan Observed: selections of drawings and prints, edited by William S. Lieberman, Museum of Modern Art, 1968; Whistler to Weidenaar: American Prints 1870-1950, Museum of Art, RISD, 1987; Precisionism in America, 1915-1941: Reordering Reality, Harry N. Abrams and The Montclair Art Museum, 1994.

Mary S. Collins Prize for best lithograph, Third Exhibition of American Lithography, Phildalephia Print Club, 1931.

Collections: Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Baltimore Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Cornell University Library, Davison Art Center (Wesleyan University), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Museum of Fine Arts, (Houston), Museum of Modern Art, National Building Museum, New York Public Library, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Wolfsonian FIU.

Three AM: A Corner by Madison Square at Night -1920

Sunday, December 26th, 2021

C.R.W Nevinson (1889-1946), Three AM: A Corner by Madison Square at Night -1920, Drypoint.

Edition 75. Signed in pencil. Black 72.

Image size 9 15/16 x 6 7/8 inches (252 x 175 mm); sheet size 15 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches (384 x 257 mm).

A superb, richly-inked impression, in dark brown ink, on cream laid paper; the full sheet with margins (1 1/8 to 2 5/8 inches), in excellent condition. Although the edition specifies 75 prints we have encountered very few impressions on the market.

Provenance: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with the deaccession stamp verso (Lugt 1943).

Literature: C.R.W. Nevinson: The Twentieth Century, Ingleby, Black, Cohen and Cooke, Imperial War Museum, London, exhibition catalogue, 1999, page 140.

The Little Putney, 1879

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

James Whistler, The Little Putney, 1879, etching and drypoint, signed with the large butterfly lower right (also with the butterfly in the plate). Glasgow 187, third state (of 3). 124 x 201 mm. In very good condition, with wide margins (a tiny rust spot right margin), printed in brownish/black ink on laid paper.

Provenance: S.H. Nazeby Harrington (lugt 1349), with his stamp lower left recto. Harrington was an art critic, author of the catalogue raisonne for Seymour Haden (Whistler’s brother-in-law) prints.

A very fine impression, with substantial plate tone. MacDonald (Glasgow) notes that relatively few impressions of the third state were printed, and that the final state is sometimes “richly printed”, as exemplified in this impression.

This relatively rare print should not be confused with the more common prints Little Putney Bridge (Glasgow 186) or the Old Putney Bridge (Glasgow 185).

The subject of the print is well described in the Glasgow catalog, and so I’ll show a copy below:

DESCRIPTION
On the right is a large two-storey building with a triangular pediment on the bank of a broad river, with an iron pier in front of it, at which a barge is moored. The bank beyond is wooded, with occasional houses. In the river is a small sailing barge with furled sails, and two smaller barges or lighters beside it. At far left a jetty or boat projects from the bank of the river. There are slight indications of reflections in the water.
SITE
The River Thames at Putney in London. The area has been extensively developed and this exact site has not been identified, although it seems likely that Whistler was working from a raised viewpoint, possibly from old Putney bridge. There is now a substantial pub, the Star and Garter, on the bank upstream from the bridge, which may have replaced the neo-classical building (since the view is as usual reversed in the print, the two-storey building was actually to Whistler’s left).

The Geese

Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Gardeuse DOies (The Geese), etching, drypoint; 1888. Signed in pencil lower right, annotated Epreuve dartiste and titled lower left margin by the artist. Printed in dark brown/black ink on an ivory laid paper, watermark Van Gelder. In very good condition, with wide margins, 5 1/2 x 8, the sheet 9 x 11 1/4 inches. Reference: Delteil 76, first state (of 4).

A fine impression, with carefully drawn plate tone differentiating the sky from the field and streams.

Delteil notes only a few lifetime impressions, less than a 10 in all, and only one other of the first state.

In the third state Pissarro effaced one of the geese of the three at the right; most other changes after the first state were not major.

Fanny Leland

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

James Whistler (1834-1903), Fanny Leyland, drypoint, 1874, signed in the plate at left with the butterfly, inscribed Fanny Leyland at upper left. Glasgow 135, 6th state (of six). Printed in a dark brown ink on an ivory laid paper, with a Pro Patria watermark. In generally good condition (some soft horizontal folds, remains of prior hinging verso, slight toning, soft fold and tiny nick at right edge). Glasgow notes that only 12 impressions are known.

Provenance:
John H. Wrenn (1841-1911), with his initials stamp verso (Lugt 1475). Wrenn was a Chicago financier and print collector. He is referred to in Whistler’s correspondence about 1895. Lugt notes that Wrenn’s print collection principally included examples by Rembrandt, Durer, Seymour Haden, Whistler and Meryon; he was also a noted book collector. E.R. and J. Pennel note that Wrenn also owned a pencil drawing of Fanny, pictured in their The Life of James McNeill Whistler, page 181.

A fine impression.

This portrait of Fanny Leyland (1857-1880) is one of several drypoint portraits of the children of Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892) and Frances Leyland (1834-1910). Frederick Leyland was a ship owner and art collector. He commissioned portraits of all his family; he later disputed the charges Whistler made for decorating his house (including the famous Peacock Room), thus ending their relationship.

Laburnums and Battersea

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Theodore Roussel, Laburnums and Battersea, etching and drypoint, 1889/1890 and 1898; signed in the plate lower right, and signed in pencil on the tab, with the inscription IMP. Hausberg 34, fifth state (of 5). From the total of 60 impressions printed in all states. In good condition, slight soft folds upper left; trimmed by the artist around the platemark, leaving a tab the the signature and inscription, 13 l/2 x 8 5/8 inches.

A fine impression, with platetone delicately wiped so that the area above the buildings in the background, and the area above the sand heap in the foreground are brightened; while the upper sides of the plate and the lower foreground are darkened.

Old Battersea Bridge was pulled down in 1879, and the new bridge opened in 1890; the sand heap in the foreground is a visible sign of impending construction. The buildings in the background are the Morgan Crucible Company, identifiable by the “Italianate clocktower” built in 1862, known in Battersea as Mr. Ted Morgan’s Folly.

Although the composition was basically finished in 1890, Roussel returned to the plate in 1898 to add some closely etched lines in the foreground.

This is the largest of the Roussel etchings, with the exception of the unfinished view of Rotten Row, Hyde Park (Hausberg 31).

L’Abside de Notre-Dame

Monday, May 31st, 2021

Charles Meryon (1821-1868), L’Abside de Notre Dame, etching with engraving and drypoint, 1854. Schneiderman 45, fourth state (of 9). In excellent condition, printed in blackish/brown ink on a cream laid paper with the watermark D&C BLAUW. With full margins, 6 1/2 x 11 3/4, the sheet 12 x 16 3/4 inches.

A fine rich impression, printed with a delicate film of plate tone, carefully wiped to accentuate the embankment beside and under the bridge.

The eminent art critic Phillipe Burty wrote of L’Abside: “The church of Notre-Dame seems…to have exerted a great attraction on the dreamy spirit of the artist. It has dictated to a poet [Victor Hugo] one of the beautiful books of our generation; it has inspired in Meryon his most beautiful plate.”

Provenance: Initials GAK in oval, stamp on mat, not in Lugt.

La Morgue

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Charles Meryon (1821-1868), La Morgue, 1854, etching, fourth state (of 7), printed in brown/black ink, Schneiderman 42 [with the inscription, date, address in the plate]. 9 3/4 x 8 3/8, the sheet 13 x 10 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, printed on thin cream laid paper in a dark brown/black ink. With the Hallines Shield watermark.

Meryon personally printed the impressions of this state (he printed all the impressions of The Morgue up to state 6 himself). In this impression he has left a subtle layer of plate tone throughout, but has wiped the plate slightly more on the central third of the plate.

The Morgue is one of the Meryon’s greatest achievements, and a landmark in 19th Century printmaking. It was done as part of Meryon’s program of creating etchings of some of the wonderful architectural landmarks of Paris that had remained essentially untouched through the years, but that were likely to be demolished or moved. (The morgue, moved after the etching was made, stood on the Ile de la Cite; it was built in 1568, and was formerly an abbatoir.) The superimposed roofs, the collision of angles, the striking contrasts of shadows all create an aesthetic excitement that was new to the art of its time, and eventually became recognized as an early expression of modernism, presaging cubism, and even precisionism. The composition has a mysterious quality not only because of its subject matter, but because of the extraordinary mood Meryon achieves through the interplay of lights and shapes.

Until Death (Hasta la Muerte)

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), 1799, etching, burnished aquatiint and drypoint. Reference: Harris 90, First Edition, plate 55 from the Caprichos. Printed on fine quality strong laid paper. In very good condition, the full sheet, 8 3/4 x 6 1/8, the sheet 12 1/8 x 7 15/16 inches.

A brilliant early impression of this iconic image, from the First Edition. The aquatint, dark in two tones, here contrasts well with the highlights on the maid, the old woman, the dressing table and the mirror. Consistent with the earliest impressions, there is a slight touch of drypoint burr on the right cheek of the maid (this wears off in later impressions of the first edition).

Goya’s commentary: She is quite right to make herself look pretty. It is her seventy-fifth birthday, and her little girl friends are coming to see her.

Los Caprichos, the earliest of the major Goya series, is a series of 80 engravings, published initially in 1799 by Goya himself. Goya produced a number of working proofs for these engravings, without the letters found on the bottom margin or the numbers at the top. Only two are known before aquatint. Then letters were added; more trial proofs taken and the letters on a number of these proofs corrected. These early proofs, and a few complete early sets, are fairly well documented; their location is known. In 1799 the prints were published in an edition of about 300, on fine quality strong laid paper, the sheets measure about 320 by 220 mm, in a warm sepia ink. These prints, in the First Edition, are each (of course) lifetime impressions. They vary a bit in quality, for as the run went into the hundreds the aquatint began to wear out, the different layers of shading became less distinct. But in general these prints are fine impressions.

In 1855, long after Goyas death, the Calcografia in Madrid issued another set of Los Caprichos, now on wove paper. This edition was small, and the quality was generally good although variable. But the prints are not comparable to those of the First Edition. The Calcografia produced another edition (the Third Edition), also on wove paper, in 1868. Further editions were done in the late 1800s, with various inks, still on wove paper, and the plates continued to deteriorate. The plates were then steelfaced (a tiny layer of steel applied to them, to halt the deterioration). More editions were produced by the Calcografia, with various papers, watermarks, sizes and inks, up through the 12th Edition, issued in 1937.

All of these posthumous edition impressions are in some sense original Goya prints, i.e., they were taken off of the original plates. The editions, almost all originally in bound volumes of 80, have been broken up and impressions are sold singly. Connoisseurs of course prefer the impressions from the First Edition, and the earlier impressions from that edition if possible.

Love and Death (El Amor y la Muerte)

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Love and Death (El Amor y la Muerte), 1799, etching, burnished aquatiint and burin. Reference: Harris 45, First Edition, plate 10 from the Caprichos. Printed on fine quality strong laid paper. In good condition, the full sheet, 8 5/8 x 6 1/8, the sheet 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

A very good impression of this iconic image, from the First Edition, before the aquatint breaks up in various areas in the later editions.

Goya’s commentary: “See here a Calderonian lover who, unable to laugh at his rival, dies in the arms of his beloved and loses her by his daring. It is inadvisable to draw the sword too often.”

A preparatory drawing in sanguine wash, and a drawing in red crayon, are in the Prado.

Los Caprichos, the earliest of the major Goya series, is a series of 80 engravings, published initially in 1799 by Goya himself. Goya produced a number of working proofs for these engravings, without the letters found on the bottom margin or the numbers at the top. Only two are known before aquatint. Then letters were added; more trial proofs taken and the letters on a number of these proofs corrected. These early proofs, and a few complete early sets, are fairly well documented; their location is known. In 1799 the prints were published in an edition of about 300, on fine quality strong laid paper, the sheets measure about 320 by 220 mm, in a warm sepia ink. These prints, in the First Edition, are each (of course) lifetime impressions. They vary a bit in quality, for as the run went into the hundreds the aquatint began to wear out, the different layers of shading became less distinct. But in general these prints are fine impressions.

In 1855, long after Goyas death, the Calcografia in Madrid issued another set of Los Caprichos, now on wove paper. This edition was small, and the quality was generally good although variable. But the prints are not comparable to those of the First Edition. The Calcografia produced another edition (the Third Edition), also on wove paper, in 1868. Further editions were done in the late 1800s, with various inks, still on wove paper, and the plates continued to deteriorate. The plates were then steelfaced (a tiny layer of steel applied to them, to halt the deterioration). More editions were produced by the Calcografia, with various papers, watermarks, sizes and inks, up through the 12th Edition, issued in 1937.

All of these posthumous edition impressions are in some sense original Goya prints, i.e., they were taken off of the original plates. The editions, almost all originally in bound volumes of 80, have been broken up and impressions are sold singly. Connoisseurs of course prefer the impressions from the First Edition, and the earlier impressions from that edition if possible.

The Family

Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Adriaen Van Ostade (1610-1685), The Family, etching with drypoint, 1647, signed and dated in plate lower right. Louis Godefroy 46, fourth state (of 7), on a cream laid paper, in very good condition, 7 x 6 1/4 inches, 181x 160 mm.

Provenance:
Kennedy Galleries, New York, with their inventory number a49071 verso
Unidentified collector with initials HW in pencil verso, not in Lugt (probably not Horace Walpole, whose initialing was a bit different)
Jean-Louis Henri Le Secq (1818-1889) with his stamp verso, Lugt 1336

A very good impression, before the Picart edition (in the fifth state). Fourth state impressions are considered “rare” by Godefroy (R).

The Family is one of Ostade’s most beloved prints, referred to by Hamerton as perhaps his most perfect etching, remarkable for its lighting and composition, and by Wedmore as among the chefs d’oeuvre of the art of etching. The light is focused on the four family members (6 counting the infant and the dog): the father cutting bread, the worn and tired-looking mother fondling her infant, the younger son holding a soup bowl, and the older son playing with the pet dog.

Exterminating Angel (LAnge Exterminateur)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

James Ensor (1860-1949), Exterminating Angel (LAnge Exterminateur), etching with drypoint, 1889, signed and dated in pencil lower right, also titled and countersigned verso. References: Delteil 77, Croquez 77, Elesh 77, Taevernier 77; second (final) state. In very good condition, on a tan Japan paper with wide margins. 4 3/4 x 6 1/4, the sheet 9 5/8 x 11 15/16 inches.

A fine impression printed in a grey/black ink, with substantial plate tone.

Only a few impressions of a first state of this print are known; one definitively identified in 2002 published in the catalogue on Ensor prints presented for sale by CG Boerner.

Gillis and Florizoone in the CG Boerner catalogue note that this print combines a Catholic element, the destroying angel of the apocalypse with the Flemish proverb to go in ones pants from fear. In his catalogue of the graphic works of Ensor, Albert Croquez made the link between this work and the painting [and print] by Henri Rousseau titled La Guerre. It is not very likely that the painting influenced Ensor, but it is possible that both artists were inspired by the same source, namely the parody of Le Tsar, published in the French magazine LEgalite on October 6, 1889.

Adoration of the Shepherds

Friday, April 9th, 2021

Adoration of the Shepherds after Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640), engraved by Pierre-Franois Basan (French, 1723-1797), engraving, c. 1750, in black on ivory laid paper, 282 x 200 mm., with small margins. In very good condition.

A fine proof impression, before letters. A draft printing of letters is visible, lower left, below image: “P P Rubens inv.”; lower right: “F. Basan excudit”.

Basan’s engraving after Rubens may be modeled after another engraving of the Adoration after Rubens by Theodor Galle (1571-1633), which appeared as an illustration to the 1618 reprint of 1616 edition of “Missale Romanum” (Antwerp: 1618); this version, very close to the Basan rendition, was probably based on a drawing by Rubens.

Village Fair

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Nicolaas Aartman (1713-1793), Village Fair, etching, c. 1750; etched by Jan Schouten; in good condition except glued down at corners (small tear lower right where glue hinged); 187 x 276 mm.

A good impression of this mid-18th C. Northern Netherlands rural scene, with a quack (and two clowns) selling their wares on center stage; a game of nine pins and dancing in the foreground.

Cock, Hen, Chicken, Dove

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Francis Barlow (1626-1702) Cock, Hen, Chicken, Dove (after); etching, c. 1680. Etched by Francis Place (1647-1728). With the names of Barlow, Place, and Cooper (ex.) etched in the plate, as well as the names in of the birds depicted, as follows: Cock gallus coq ; hen gallina poulle ; chicken pullus poulcin ; dove columbus pigeon ; F. Barlow delin. ; F. Place fecit ; E. Cooper ex. From Barlow’s series Various Birds and Beasts.

A good impression, in only fair condition (the paper toned due to placement in a non-archival mat), but the matrix satisfactory, with a small margin, 8 1/4 x 11 1/8 inches, the margin approx. 3/8 inch around.

Place has been considered a student of Wencelaus Hollar, but in a letter Place clarified the relationship: “Hollar was a person I was intimately acquainted with…but never his disciple nor anybodys else. which was my misfortune.” (from Pennington’s catalog raisonne for Hollar, p. XIV)

Barlow ranks among the most prolific book-illustrators and printmakers of the 17th century, working across several genres: natural history, hunting and recreation, politics, and decoration and design. He has come to be regarded as a “surprisingly neglected artist”. Art historian Mark Hallett accounts for this by noting that Barlow’s time is British art’s “forgotten era” – one that “has tended to be overshadowed by the achievements of earlier artists, such as Van Dyck, or those that came later, such as Hogarth”; Hallett finds this unjust: Barlow made a significant contribution to what “in reality [. . .] was a remarkably rich, vibrant and cosmopolitan period for the visual arts in Britain.

Goltzius (after): Touch, Sight, Smell, Hear

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Hendrich Goltzius (1558-1607), after, engravings c. 1740, Four of the Five Senses, engraved by Elisabeth Marlie Lepicier (1714-1773), after engravings by Jan Saenredam (1565-1607). References: Nagler VIII p. 391; Hollstein XXIII p. 78. In very good condition, printed on a cream laid paper, with small margins, 8 1/4 x 6 inches each.

Fine impressions. Saeredam engraved these subjects after Goltzius in reverse from the original paintings; Lepicier copied the engravings in reverse from Saeredam, thus producing “corrected” impressions, in line with the Goltzius compositions.

The engravings are: La Vue (sight); L’Ouie (sound); Le Toucher (touch), and L’Odorat (smell).

The engravings were published by Louis Surugue (1686-1762).

The Prodigal Son

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

William Strang (1859-1921), The Prodigal Son, 1882, etching and drypoint, signed and dated in the plate lower right. Reference: Binyon 10. In excellent condition (an oil stain upper right margin well outside of the image). On a cream laid paper with margins, 6 7/8 x 7 7/8, the sheet 9 1/2 x 10 inches.

A fine strong impression.

Strang was one of the original members of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, and his work was a part of their first exhibition in 1881. Some of his early plates were published in The Portfolio and other art magazines. Strang was a prodigious printmaker, creating over 750 drypoints and etchings between the years 1880 and 1920. In 1913 he returned to the subject of the Prodigal Son, creating a woodcut of this oft-illustrated topic.

Virtue v. Vice (Virtutis et Vitii Lucta)

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Pieter de Bailliu (1613-1660), Virtutis et Vitii Lucta, etching and drypoint, circa 1650, after a drawing by Peter van Lint (1609-1690). In fair/passable condition, the paper darkened brown; slight discoloration at top margin due to hinging, with margins, 5 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches. With the engraver and painter’s names in the plate below the Latin text.

Watermark: Strasbourg Lily (?)

A good impression of this rather rarely encountered print.

An impression is in the Albertina (H/11/40/64).

This is an allegory of combat between the Putto Satyr and a child representing virtue.

The Model

Monday, March 15th, 2021

Heinrich Zille (1858-1929), The Model (Das Modell), c. 1908, color etching, on wove paper, numbered in pencil (21/100), from the presumed edition of 100, on a large sheet, 10 3/4 x 6 1/4, the sheet 26 x 16. With the artist’s stamp verso, the sheet with the artist’s chop mark lower right.

A fine impression, in very good condition.

A drawing for this print was sold at Christie’s New York in October, 2020.

Flower Girls

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Sybil Andrews (1898-1992), Flower Girls1934, Color Linocut.

White 28. Edition 60. Signed, titled, numbered 8/60in pencil, in the image, lower left.

Image size 9 7/16 x 8 9/16 inches (240 x 217 mm); sheet size 10 1/4 x 9 3/4 inches (260 x 257 mm).

A brilliant, early impression, on Japanese mulberry, with margins (1/4 to 1 1/8 inches), in very good condition. From 4 blocks, printed in : 1) chrome yellow, 2) spectrum red, 3) permanent blue, 4) Chinese blue.

Exhibited: London, 1936 (Redfern), no. 64. Illustrated inLinocuts of the Machine Ageby Stephen Coppel, National Gallery of Australia, 1995. Collections: BM, GM.

The Descent from the Cross by Torchlight 1654

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

The Descent from the Cross by Torchlight 1654

etching and drypoint; sheet 213 x 163 mm (8 3/8 x 6 7/16 inches)

Bartsch 83, White/Boon only state; Hind 280; The New Hollstein 286 first state (of four)

watermark

foolscap with five-pointed collar (Hinterding variant G-b-a; vol. 2, p. 123, vol. 3, p. 214 ill.)

provenance

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock no. in pencil verso C.31001)

The Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey;

their sale, Christies, New York, May 13, 1997, lot 237 (sold to C.G. Boerner)

private collection, Germany (acquired in 1997);

thence by descent

A fine impression with patches of burr in the central group of figures; in impeccable, untreated condition with small margins all round.

Palace Court

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Frederick Landseer Griggs (1876-1938), Palace Court,1933, etching, signed and inscribed in pencil. Reference: Comstock 49, third state (of 3), from the printing of about 75. In excellent condition, printed in a warm brownish/black ink on a cream laid paper with a letters in a row watermark. 10 x 7 inches.

Special presentation proof impression, dedicated in pencil by F.L.GriggsTo my friend H.J.F. Badeley. Badeley was an accomplished original printmaker famed especially for his exquisitely engraved bookplates.

A fine impression.

In the first state (only 2 proofs) figures were yet to be etched, and in the lower margin was a dedication to Mary Anderson deNavarro, a American Shakespearean actor. In the second state (only 3 proofs) the group of figures in Tudor costume was added (13 figures plus a ghostly outline of a figure to the left of the group which appears to have been burnished out), the flagstaff and weathervane were added as well as the pigeons over the roof at the left. In the third state the bottom margin containing the dedication was cut off.

In a 1933 letter to Campbell Dodgson, Griggs wrote that this imaginary subject was a kind of essay on East Anglican building of mediaeval kinds, of course.


Flora with her Nymphs

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

 

GIULIO BONASONE (1510-1576) AFTER GIULIO ROMANO (CIRCA1499-1546)
Flora with her Nymphs
engraving,circa1531-50, on laid paper, watermark Two crossed Arrows with a Star (Massari 77, similar to Briquet 6299), a fine impression of Massari’s second state (of three), printing with many wiping marks, trimmed inside the subject above, thread margins elsewhere, a few pale moisture stains at the sheet edges, the lower sheet edge backed, otherwise in good condition.
Plate 316 x 431 mm., Sheet 316 x 435 mm.

Provenance

With Olimpia Theodoli, London.
Acquired from the above, on 15 July 1998.

Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 (Swaying) – a proof before steelfacing

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

John Marin (1870-1953), Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 (Swaying), a proof before steelfacing, 1913, etching. Reference: Zigrosser 112. Signed in pencil lower right, also signed and dated 13 and B.B. 6 in the plate, lower left. From the small group of prints printed in 1913 by Marin (Zigrosser estimated about 12), before the later (1924) New Republic edition. Printed on a wove paper, 11 x 9 inches.

A very fine, rich impression, printed by the artist. This impression includes much inking on the plate mark, creating a frame for the composition, and substantial plate tone. The matrix is slightly larger than the later impressions, due to the plate mark inking (11 x 9, as opposed to 10 5/8 x 8 3/4); and the sheet is much larger (18 3/4 x 14 3/4, compared to 14 x 10 7/8 inches).

First printed by the artist and published by Alfred Stieglitz in 1913, a small number of later impressions were printed as the work was slated to be included in the New Republic portfolio Six American Etchings.Only a few impressions were pulled before it was replaced by MarinsDowntown, the El. Carl Zigrosser was unaware thatBrooklyn Bridge No. 6 (Swaying)was ever included in the Set when he wrote the Marin catalogue; later, when he learned of its initial inclusion, he suggested that perhaps the plate had broken early in the run, and this hypothesis has been repeated through the years. But this is unlikely since the printer, Peter Platt (1859-1934), Americas most distinguished artists printer of the period, worked alone, and he was hardly prone to breaking copper plates. A more likely explanation is that Downtown the El was substituted because it is about the same size as the other prints in the set, whereas the Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 print is much larger; a plate of the same size would facilitate the printing of a large edition. Each of the plates was purchased by the NewRepublic, and the papers records for 1924-5, as well as the plates used for the set have been lost or destroyed.

Collections: PMA, MMA (Stieglitz Collection), MoMA (Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller); AIC (Stieglitz Collection), Fogg.

Downtown the El, 1921, a proof before steelfacing

Monday, December 9th, 2019

John Marin (1870-1953), Downtown, The El, a proof before steelfacing, etching, 1921, signed in pencil lower left and numbered (1-30); (also signed and dated in the plate). Reference: Zigrosser 134, only state. Published by Alfred Stieglitz, in an edition of about 30 impressions. In excellent condition, the full sheet, on firm wove paper, 7 x 9 inches, the full sheet, with deckle edges.

A very fine impression, printed by Marin personally, with strong plate tone, carefully wiped to highlight the sky and the Woolworth Building, and rich inking left on the platemark framing the composition.

Zigrosser cites a few other impressions with the numbering (1-30) after the Marin signature in pencil, including the impressions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Detroit Museum of Fine Arts.

Three years after this plate was etched by Marin the plate was steelfaced, and then impressions were printed by Peter Platt and included as part of the Folio of American Etchings by the magazine The New Republic in 1924, in an edition of unknown size but probably around 500 (see discussion below). This impression is 7 x 9 inches, slightly larger than the 6 3/4 x 8 3/4, due to the inking of the borderline, which is not inked in the New Republic impressions. The sheet is 11 1/4 x 15 1/2 inches, much larger than the sheets of the New Republic edition (which were 11 x 13 3/4 inches).

Provenance: Kennedy Galleries, New York, still in their original mat, with their inventory number 22059 verso.

Initially the New Republic Set, sometimes known as Six American Etchings, contained Marins Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 (Swaying) (Zigrosser 112). But after a small number of sets were completed, Downtown the El was substituted for Zigrosser 112 (and so the number of Downtown The Els in the set would have been a bit fewer than the others in the set). Zigrosser, who apparently had not seen a complete set at the time he created the catalogue raisonne, conjectured that the substitution might have been because the original plate was damaged. But since the printer, Peter Platt, was the most renowned artists printer of his time, and worked alone, it is unlikely that he would have damaged the plate; a more likely possibility is that he switched to a print that was more comparable in size to the others in the set (The Brooklyn Bridge print was much larger), and Downtown The El (printed on a sheet smaller than this pre-steelfaced impression) is about the same size as the others (the other prints were Peggy Bacon: The Promenade Deck; Ernest Haskell: The Sentinels of North Creek; Edward Hopper: Night Shadows; Hayes Miller: Play; and John Sloan: Bandits Cave).

Downtown The El is one of Marins early and influential modernist prints, made after his style changed from the British Etchers/Whistlerian idiom. It has also been called Park Row, and Downtown New York. The El is no longer there, but the building in the center, the Woolworth Building, still stands.

interview

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Schrank’s Discourse Ranges Widely but inevitably Comes Back to “Connoisseurship”

Harris Schrank

 

Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been in the print business? How did you happen to become a fine-art-print dealer?
A: I became a print dealer about 10 years ago, after collecting prints for many years (and after a long run as a practicing sociologist and then a shorter stint as a corporate bureaucrat).

Q: Is there a “standard route” into print dealing-art history degree, apprenticeship in an established business, own shop-or do dealers tend to come from varied background and access routes. Does it run in families?
A: There’s no standard route. People from all sorts of backgrounds get caught up in prints – I know one dealer who was a cardiologist and another a pediatrician, any number of lawyers and accountants, a music critic, graphic designer, daughters and sons of dealers. Here and there one finds someone who actually studied art, worked at a gallery, and then became an independent dealer. One would think that would be the conventional route, but it’s not that common.

Q: Judging from the excellent brief guides you have published on ebay, your discourse centers around “connoisseurship.” It sems to be about print erudition. Is that a fair assertion? What, from your point of view, are the joys and benefits of knowing a lot about prints, both for collectors and dealers?
A: The more prints you see and study, the more you appreciate. In the contemporary field images and impressions from a single edition tend to be quite alike, in fact that’s a usual objective of the printer making an edition. But historically the printmaker – who often was also the artist – was not so concerned with creating a uniform edition as creating different variations upon the same theme. So the artist would change the print through various states, or use different inking and papers, thereby getting different results. Rembrandt approached printmaking in this way, as later did hundreds of artists such as Pissarro and Degas, Whistler and even Picasso. So it’s a good idea to know a lot about how these artists worked when examining their prints. And even among the artists who tended to make prints in just a few states, and worked toward a definitive state, connoisseurship is needed to determine which impressions they printed personally, which are earliest or best reflect the intent of the artist.

Q: How does one go about acquiring enough print erudition to be a knowledgeable collector? How much is enough?
A: The basic task is to see lots of examples of the same image. In a good print room like those at the Metropolitan Museum or the National Gallery it’s possible to see a number of Durer engravings of Adam and Eve, or Rembrandt’s Three Crosses, for example, and see how different they can be in quality, printing approach, inking, paper, etc. Once you’ve seen a number of impressions of a print you can start to make judgements about a print’s quality.

Q: In your experience, roughly what percentage of print collectors take it upon themselves to learn about prints in a serious way? How many of them succeed in becoming true print connoisseurs. Or do most of them leave the question of print connoisseurship to their dealers?
A: In my experience most print collectors are rather serious, and I’d regard quite a number as connoisseurs, but perhaps this is a characteristic of the “pre-contemporary” print field. Many collectors are fussy about condition, but obsessing about condition shouldn’t be confused with connoisseurship. Connoisseurship involves making distinctions among various impressions of the same print, knowing about print techniques, papers, the art historical context, etc. Collectors are wise to work with knowledgeable dealers who can help them locate and select prints, but if they “delegate” too many matters of connoisseurship they’re missing lots of the fun of collecting.

Q: How many of your clients “keep coming back for more?” Aside from the obvious monetary question, is it a great satisfaction for a dealer to nurture a client from rank beginner to serious collector?
A: I enjoy working with anyone interested in prints, regardless of their level of sophistication. The learning process is mutual, for often beginners ask good questions which lead me into areas I hadn’t considered. Of course I enjoy working with experienced collectors as well, and get some special satisfaction from finding something they haven’t seen, or locating a print they’ve been looking for or that fits well into their collection.

Q: Is it possible to construct a profile of the typical print collector. Or are there several profiles? What do they look like?
A: There are lots of types. Some focus on aesthetic issues, some on periods or art movements; some on a particular artist. Some are condition freaks, some want just lifetime impressions or just signed impressions; others search for pictures of certain things like skulls or boats or early New York scenes. Some people just seem to look for bargains, but they tend to have mediocre collections.

Q: Has your quest for connoisseurship taken you abroad? Is firsthand knowledge from, say, Europe, China or Japan necessary to take the connoisseuer to the next level?
A: It’s fun to see where an artist worked. I’ve been to Rembrandt’s House in Amsterdam, and James Ensor’s in Ostend, Belgium. And it’s great to see scenes such as the canals and bridges of Venice that were the subjects of Whistler etchings. But to me the real excitement is just seeing great impressions of great prints, and many of these (the ones I don’t own!) can be found in museums or collections nearby.

Q: This brings us to the question of specialization. Presumably it’s impossible to be a connoisseur of everything. How important is specialization? I noticed that two of your mini guides are devoted to Rembrandt and Goya. Are these two artists your specialties?
A: I love Goya and Rembrandt, and am somewhat conversant with them, but would not say they’re a specialty. I find I focus on artists for whom printmaking itself was a specialty, including for example Drer, Jacques Callot, Van Ostade among the old masters, Camille Pissarro and Jacques Villon among European impressionists and modernists, and among Americans, John Sloan and Reginald Marsh and of course James Whistler. Some dealers and collectors prefer to focus on a single artist, but I find that confining.

Q: What is the role and the importance of auction houses? To what extent has their credbility been eroded by the scandals of recent years. Are auction prices true indicators of the value of fine-art prints?
A: Auction houses are important to the print world, but they can be risky places to buy or sell prints. They sometimes get good prints, especially from estates, but also get problematic prints – the prints dealers and individuals either can’t sell or don’t want to be associated with when they’re sold. Collectors without the resources, time or knowledge to make good judgments among auction offerings are easy prey for the houses. And these days the houses are charging quite a bit – often on both ends – to sell things, so collectors need to be wary of paying too much for so-so quality items.

As for the usefulness of auction prices: the huge variability of prints and their auction prices severely limits the value of auction prices as indicators of value. So over-reliance on such records is a bad idea – high prices are too often the result of buyers caught up in an irrational bidding war, and low prices a reflection of low quality offerings. I find that these days – in the old master area especially – many of the finer or rarer impressions don’t reach the auction houses, but are sold privately.

Q: While we’re on the subject of value, where would you place fine-art prints as investments, say on a scale between General Motors and gold.
A: I’ve heard people say that these days prints are more blue chip than the traditional blue chips. I also sense that the market for older prints may be more stable than the contemporary market. Lots more might be said about all this but in general I’d encourage people to buy prints because they love them, not as an investment.

Q: On the subject of certificates of authenticity, you have been quoted as saying: “These have been thoroughly discredited in recent years; an inflated-sounding claim of a C of A is often a sign that there is a problem in the wings.” Would you care to elaborate on that affirmation a bit? We’ve been telling artists for years that the C of A is the way to go. Are there different criteria in this matter for contemporary prints and old masters? Isn’t a Fine Print Description just a more elaborate C of A? Isn’t it just as easy to falsify an FPD as a C of A?
A: An FPD is my own invention; it’s just a full description of the print which I sign and date. I suppose it is a C of A without the pretension of the C of A designation. Every week or so I hear from collectors who’ve overpaid for a print, or bought a print that’s not really what it’s supposed to be, and they’re typically armed with an “official” C of A which is nothing more than a phony marketing device. These C of A’s are no substitute for a buyer doing some homework, or buying from a reputable dealer.

Q: With so many con artists afoot these days at every level of the food chain, what possibility do print collectors have to protect themselves from fraud? How should they go about it?
A: Of course the best way to protect themselves is to develop some knowledge about prints, and the prints they’re purchasing. I would also encourage collectors to buy from dealers who are members of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA). These dealers have gone through a serious vetting process. The IFPDA website (www.printdealers.com) lists the members, and is also a good source of print knowledge, definitions, etc.

Q: In Internet print sales the question of establishing a seller’s honesty and inspiring a buyer’s confidence, is even trickier. You sell prints over the Web. How do you deal with these issues? What percentage of your sales are via Internet?
A: I rarely buy on the Web and would not generally recommend it. I buy prints in person, and recommend that as the best method. I do sell prints via the Web, and anything I sell I’ll purchase back within a reasonable amount of time, so I basically sell prints on approval (as will any reputable dealer). I enjoy presenting prints on eBay (I started with Sothebys.com, which morphed into eBay before it went under), and have met many experts and specialists through that route, but today such sales are less than 5% of my total. I enjoy eBay as a discipline (I show lots of pictures of each print, and create a rather full descriptive entry for each print), and in practice use it more for advertising than sales. I also have a number of print guides displayed on eBay.

Q: You place a great deal of emphasis on the importance of the catalogue raisonne in determining the authenticity of prints, and you are not alone in this respect. Most catalogues raisonnes, if I’m not mistaken, are compiled by art historians after the artists in question have died. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the artist herself, or her agent, to create the catalogue as they go along? Wouldn’t that information tend to be much more reliable? Having said that, should we encourage serious contemporary printmakers to start preparing their own catalogues raisonees?
A: I suppose you’re right that artists should keep good records, but I imagine many artists would probably see that as a distraction (I don’t like keeping records myself, and I’m no artist). Many artists have in fact kept extensive records, and these help the compilers of catalogues. For example Albrecht Durer kept an extensive diary in which he details who he gave prints to; and artists such as Camille Pissarro, Reginald Marsh, and Martin Lewis kept detailed notes about their printmaking efforts which helped cataloguers. But many artists are notorious for getting print states, dates and the number of impressions printed wrong (Pissarro and Marsh are good examples), so good cataloguers have to examine everything from scratch whether the artist has kept notes or not.

Q: Many readers of this interview will be fine-art print professionals, print studio people, master printmakers… They are ultimately the ones who advise many of today’s printmakers on questions of editions, signing, best practices and print permanence. From the point of view of a print dealer, what comments or advice would you share with them?
A: I’m no expert on contemporary printmaking, but might mention that I’ve been very impressed with the contemporary prints that have been shown at the International Fine Print Center NY (IFPCNY) New Prints shows (there have been about 25 of these exhibits over the past decade). Perhaps those not familiar with this non-profit Print Center and its programs and exhibits might be interested in looking into them. (Disclosure – I’m on the Board of the IFPCNY.)

Q: Regarding editions, would you like to give your views on this issue? For example, why the disparity in the sizes of editions between Europe and the USA?
A: I didn’t know about this difference. Let’s go on to the next question!

Q: What about editioning inkjet reproductions of paintings, so-called “signed and numbered limited-edition giclee prints?” What do you make of that phenomenon? Or do we just put it down to H.L. Mencken’s immortal remark: “Nobody ever went broke…?”
A: When it comes to buying art people often justify their irrational or even inane behaviour by saying they buy “what they like,” as if that excuses their mistakes. And in the case of prints, where there’s often another example of the print that’s earlier, or better (or just genuine), and less expensive to boot, it’s infuriating to see people blithely enriching con artists. So I guess old Mencken had a point. But education sources, such as your site, should help people make better choices, so there’s always hope.

Thank you, Harris, for your kindness in sharing your connoiseurship with us.

Contact Harris Schrank:

Phone: 212 662 1234

Spring Night, Greenwich Village

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

Spring Night, Greenwich Village1930, Drypoint and Sand Ground.

McCarron 85, only state. Edition 92. Signed in pencil. Signed in the plate, lower right. Titled in pencil on the bottom left sheet edge.

Image size 9 7/8 x 12 3/8 inches (248 x 315 mm); sheet size 13 3/8 x 15 7/8 inches (340 x 403 mm).

An exceptionally fine, richly inked, atmospheric impression, in warm black ink, on cream laid paper; the full sheet with wide margins (1 3/4 to 1 7/8 inches), in excellent condition.

Ex-collection Patricia Lewis, the artists daughter-in-law, with her collection stamp in the bottom right sheet corner, verso..

The scene depicted is on Bedford Street, New York (now a landmark street in the West Village), near Lewis home at the time he created this evocative nocturne. The soft atmospheric light was achieved with drypoint over a finely textured ground created by pressing sandpaper on the copper plate matrix.

Lewis won the 1931 Charles M. Lea Prize from the Philadelphia Print Club for this work, the second year in a row he was the recipient of the prestigious award.

Collections: ACM, BM, BMNY, CU, DIA, FAMSF, MFA, NMAA, NYPL, PMA, TBG, WMAA, WMU.

Ephraim Bonus, Jewish physician 1647

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

Ephraim Bonus, Jewish physician 1647

etching, engraving, and drypoint; 240 x 177 mm.

Bartsch 278, White-Boon second (final) state; Hind 226; The New Hollstein 237 second (final) state

provenance

Hermann Weber, Bonn (Lugt 1383)

Ferdinand, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and King of Portugal (Lugt 968)

C.G. Boerner, Neue Lagerliste 54 (1974), no. 33 (our stock no. in pencil verso 8356)

private collection, Germany

Ephram Hezekiah Bueno (15991665), usually referred to by his Latinized name Bonus, was a physician and writer who came from a Sephardic-Jewish family. He was a renowned doctor and at the same time wrote poems in Spanish. He was also a supporter of Samuel Menasseh ben Israel who lived across the street from Rembrandt and might have introduced Bonus to the artist.

The imposing portrait print was executed in the same year as Rembrandts prints of Jan Asselijn (Bartsch ???) and Jan Six (Bartsch ???). All three have in common that they depict their sitters standing. What is exceptional with regards to Rembrandts working process is that the print was neither based on a preliminary drawing nor was it executed directly on the plate. Instead, it was prepared by a small panel painting of identical size (Bredius 252; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).

This impression is mentioned in Lugt as one of the “meilleures pieces” sold in Hermann Weber’s sale (1856).

Following His Wife

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), Following his Wife, lithograph, plate 35 from the series Moeurs Conjugales, 1841, published in 1843 in the Album Moeurs Conjugales, Daumier Register 658, third state (of 4). In good condition, a sur blanc impression, on wove paper, matted. 8.3 x 7.4 inches

A very good impression.

Explanation and translation from the Daumier Register:

On a trial proof of this print (which can be seen in the Dreyfus Collection) Daumier wrote underneath the image: “un mari qui decouvre sa femme en tete–tete dans un fiacre”. [a husband who discovers his wife in a tete a tete in a carriage.] The editor Goulet sent the copy on to the texter Jaime, who in turn incorporated Daumier’s text in his own, which was consequently published.

Original Text:
Ah tres bien j’en suis sur! malheureuse, v’ la une heure que je te guette……Ah! j’en suis sur!.. et, ce soir, tu me feras payer trois heures de course!

 

Translation:
Ah! Now I am sure of it! Wretched woman….. I have been following you for more than an hour! Ah, I knew it!…. and on top of this, you will make me [pay] this evening for a three hour ride.

The Farce is Over

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), Baissez le rideau, 1834, plate 421 from Le Caricature. Daumier Register 86, only state. Sur Blanc, on wove paper. In compromised condition: tears in margins (some poorly repaired), toning, soft folds, staining verso, other defects, not matted. 9 x 10 7/8, the sheet 10 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches.

A good impression of this rare print.

Here are notes and translation from the Daumier Register:

This print shows a masterly interpretation of King Louis-Philippe dressed in the costume of a clown while the theatre curtain falls. With a sardonic smile he points at “Blind Justitia”, thereby insinuating Justice to be a farce. At the same time, the parliamentarians, disappearing in the dark, are not living up to their responsibilities to protect the judicial system. The text on this print is a quote of the last words of Rabelais. When he died drunk, he said “Draw the curtain, the farce is ended”. It is interesting to observe that the King was not to take a seat within Parliament but rather in a special box with a curtain towards the plenary.

Original Text:
Baissez le rideau, la farce est joue.

 

Translation:
Lower the curtain, the farce is over.

Vous Avez la Parole (You’re Free to Speak)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), You’re Free to Speak (Vous avez la parole), 1834, plate number 490, from La Caricature; Daumier Register 116, only state (rare); in generally satisfactory condition, the top trimmed close to the letters, toning, staining, various defects; 9 1/4 x 11 1/8, the sheet 10 3/8 x 14 inches, unmatted.

A good impression of this great rarity.

Provenance: George Longstreet, with his initial stamp recto (Lugt 4750).

Note and Translation from the Daumier Register:

Following the massacre of Rue Transnonain on April 13-14, 1834, a total of 121 legal cases were launched against the participating revolutionaries. Because of the political bias of the legal system, most of the defenders did not participate in the hearings, which they considered to be a legal farce. In the end 9 defendants were acquitted, 28 had escaped in time, while the rest were either deported or sentenced from 2 to 20 years of prison.

Original Text:
… Vous avez la parole, expliquez-vous, vous etes libre!

 

Translation:
Speak up…. you are free to express yourself!

 

Le Gout (The Taste)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), Le Gout, lithograph, plate 40 from the series Types Parisiens, 1839, an impression sur blanc from the Album Types Parisiens. Daumier Register 596, third state (of 5), In generally good condition but trimmed at the bottom edge (the letters still preserved), slight foxing in margins, 10 1/4 x 13 1/2 inches.

A very fine impression of this humorous subject.

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
LE GOUT
Fichtre! je ne m’etonne pas si gaillard la a de l’esprit. . . .et il m’appelle vielle bete! donne m’en comme ca tous les matins animal, et j’en aurai aussi de l’esprit.

 

Translation:
THE TASTE.
Wow! I am not surprised any more why this fellow is so spirited… and he calls me an old beast! Let me have one of these every morning, and I will be full of spirit too.

The Nightmare (Le Cauchemar)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), Le Cauchemar, lithograph, 1832, plate 139, published in La Caricature. Daumier Register 41, first state (of 2). In compromised condition, trimmed at the top to the line of the illustration; with various repairs, toning and fox marks, although the matix is perfectly legible. The sheet 10 5/8 x 14 inches.

A sur blanc impression; a rare print.

Here’s a summary background description from the Daumier Register:

The print shows General Lafayette, known hero of the Polish and American wars of independence. His portrait brings to mind a painting by Ary Scheffer from 1822. This lithograph represents General Lafayette with a pear on his stomach (Louis-Philippe), causing a nightmare.

This print shows the uncomfortable feeling which Lafayette nourished by helping King Louis-Philippe to power (it is only later that he will distance himself from the King and the July Revolution). In his right hand, he holds the revolutionary “Programme de l’hotel de ville”, which he was supposed to present to the King but never did.

It is the first time that a print in La Caricature presents the King in the shape of a pear. Philipon had used this symbol previously in a lithograph on Nov. 24, 1831.

The pear as trademark for King Louis-Philippe stands for stupidity and simplemindedness.

The Author’s Husband

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), The Bluestocking’s Husband, plate 46 from the series Moeurs Conjugales, published in 1842 in Le Charivari, and in the Album Moeurs Conjugales in 1843; an impression from the album, sur blanc (without the letterpress verso and on a quality wove paper); Daumier Register 669, second state (of 3). In excellent condition (tiny repaired tear bottom edge), 9.3 x 7.6 inches.

A fine impression.

Note: By the late 1500s, the fashion had spread to Paris where the termbas bleu(bas, stocking;bleu, blue) emerged to describe women with literary aspirations

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
LE MARI DU BAS BLEU.
Monsieur, ma femme est inspiree depuis ce matin: impossible de la voir; je suis comme vous voyez oblige de prodiguer mes soins au dernier ouvrage, que nous avons fait en collaboration!

 

Translation:
THE BLUESTOCKING’S HUSBAND.
Monsieur, my wife has been inspired since this morning: it is impossible to see her. As you can see, I have to give my full attention to the fruit of our most recent collaboration!

A Man for all Seasons

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), A Man for all Seasons, lithograph, plate 2 from the series Les Parisiens en 1852, published in Le Charivari, 1852. Daumier Register 2219, second state (of 2), an impression on letterpress, from Le Charivari. In good condition apart from a water stain lower right not affecting image. 9.4 x 8.4 inches

A very good impression.

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
Un monsieur qui s’enflamme en toute saison.

Translation:
A gentleman who gets excited in any season.

The Results of Diplomacy

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79), The Results of Diplomacy, lithograph, plate 128 from the series Actualities, published in Le Charivari, 1867. Daumier Register 3581, fourth state (of 4). An impression from Le Charivari, with letterpress verso, in very good condition, 10.1 x 8 2 inches.

A very good strong impression.

 

From the Daumier Register:

Note: A lot of paper has been wasted by the diplomats, who had met at the World Exhibition in Paris. It is still unclear whether anything of substance has come out of all these meetings. The ragpicker shown here picking up the pieces of paper left behind believes that most of this will be used as percussion-caps.

Original Text:
– Elle en a use du papier la diplomatie en 1867, De quoi faire joliment des cartouches!

 

Translation:
Diplomacy really has used up some paper in 1867. This could well be used for making cartridges.

The Art Critic

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

 

Honore Daumier (1808-79), The Art Critic, lithograph, plate 2 from the series Croquis Pris au Salon par Daumier, published in Le Charivari, 1864. Daumier Register 3294, second state (of 2). A impression from Le Charivari, with letterpress verso.

A very good, strong impression.

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
LE VISITEUR – Oh! pour le coup voila une composition qui est reellement insensee!…. et quelle couleur!
L’ARTISTE – Cretin de bourgeois va!

 

Translation:
THE VISITOR: – Just look at this senseless arrangement… and these colours!… hideous!
The artist: – Cretin of a bourgeois… bugger off!

Fortune Makes one Forget Friends

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-79),La fortune fait oublier les amis,lithograph, plate 31 from the series Caricaturana, published in Le Charivari in 1837; later in Album Caricaturana (Les Robert Macaires) (1838). Daumier Register 385, third state (of 3) This impression is hand colored, on a cream wove paper, without letterpress verso (sur blanc), in generally good condition, paper toned toward edges. 9 x 9 inches

A very good impression, with the colors vivid.

From Daumier Register:

Original Text:
La fortune fait oublier les amis.
John ! Portez ces 500 f. a Mr le Cure pour les pauvres de la paroisse. Quon sache bien que cest moi qui les donne. Oui, Monsieur le Comte Joubliais de dire a Monsieur que cet homme est revenu. Quel homme ? Ce pauvre homme qui pretend etre un ancien ami de Mr. Le Comte, il sappelle Bertrand – Bertrand. Bertrand ! Je ne connais pas ca. Dites toujours que je ny suis pas.

 

Translation:
Fortune makes one forget one’s friends.
– John, take these 500 F to the minister for the poor of the parish. Be sure to make it quite clear that they came from me.
-Yes, Monsieur le Comte…. I forgot to tell Monsieur that this man has come back.
– What man?
– That poor man who pretends to be an old friend of Monsieur le Comte. His name is Bertrand.
– Bertrand? I don’t know this person… just tell him that I’m not home.

Floating Down the River

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Floating Down the River, lithograph, plate 3 from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens, 1843, published in the journal Le Charivari, and in the Album Les Canotiers Parisiens, a sur blanc impression on wove paper without the letterpress verso. In good condition (paper slightly toned), Daumier Register 1025, second state (of 3). 8 x 10 inches.

A fine impression,

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
UNE NOUVELLE MANIRE DE DESCENDRE LE FLEUVE DE LA VIE.
– Brigand de Radiguet!.. que le diable t’emporte avec ta voile a nouvelle invention… elle est cause que notre partie est tombee dans l’eau!.. – Eh ben ne voila-t-il pas de quoi pousser des cris de feu! moi je suis seulement vexe contre mon bottier… vl ames bottes qui prennent l’eau par les poches de mon pantalon!…..

 

Translation:
A NEW WAY TO FLOAT DOWN THE RIVER OF LIFE.
– Radiguet you rascal, to hell with you, your boat and your new invention…. it is your fault that the entire outing went down the drain.
– Come, come now…. no reason to scream hell. I am just angry about my boot-maker… since my shoes are being filled with water coming from the holes in the pockets of my pants.

It Shouldn’t be Allowed

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), It Shouldn’t be Allowed, lithograph, plate 4 from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens, 1843, published in Le Charivari and in the Album Les Canotiers Parisiens, a sur blanc impression, on stiff quality wove paper without the letterpress verso, in very good condition. Daumier Register 1026, second state (of 3). 9.3 x 7.3 inches.

A fine clear impression.

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
– Est-il permis de revenir de Bercy dans un etat pareil… un homme etabli… que je suis malheureuse mon Dieu!…
– Eh ben quoi?.. puisque j’aime l’eau!.. on ne peut donc plus aimer l’eau present?…

 

Translation:
– It really shouldn’t be allowed to return from Bercy in a state like this…. an established man like you…. I am so unhappy, my God!
– What’s wrong?…after all, I like the water…. am I not allowed to like the water anymore?

I’ve Only Been Ringing for an Hour!

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), I’ve Only Been Ringing for an Hour, lithograph, plate 14 from the series Moeurs Conjugales, published in Le Charivari 1839, in the Album Moeurs Conjugales 1843. A sur blanc impression, on strong wove without the letterpress verso. Daumier Register 637, second state (of 2). 9.4 x 7.5 inches

A fine impression.

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
Il n’ya pourtant qu’une heure que je le tire!…

 

Translation:
I’ve only been ringing for an hour!

All Men are Brothers

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Je t’ai defendu deja, lithograph, plate 11 from the series LES PHILANTROPES DU JOUR, published in Le Charivari, 1844. Daumier Register 1303, second state (of 2). 8.6 x 7.1 inches.

Provenance: Rene Gaston-Dreyfus, with his collector’s stamp verso (not in Lugt). Gaston-Dreyfus was one of the great Daumier collectors; his collection was sold in 1966 and 1968.

A fine impression, printed sur blanc, on strong wove paper with no letterpress verso.

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
– Je t’ai defendu deja de m’appeler maitre… apprend que tous les hommes sont freres… animal!…

 

Translation:
I have already forbidden you to call me MASTER….. why don’t you understand that all men are brothers!…. you animal!

Preparing for an Outing

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), [Preparing for an Outing], lithograph, plate 1 from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens, a sur blanc impression from the Album Les Canotiers Parisiens (also published separately in letterpress in Le Charivari), 1843. Reference: Daumier Register 1023, fourth state (of 5), 9.7 x 7.7 inches.

A very good impression. In the mid-19th Century boating on the Seine was a popular Parisien hobby.

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
– Eh bien! Rigobert… mon vieux flambard…. nous allons faire une longue traversee aujourd’hui… as-tu embarque des vivres a bord de notre navire?… – Ne m’en parle pas!… je n’ai pu rapporter que deux croquets et un hareng saur!….

 

Translation:
– All right Rigobert, my old friend…. we are going to make a long trip today…. did you bring enough provisions on board of our vessel?
– Don’t talk about it…. all I was able to bring along are two biscuits and a red herring.

Saved from Drowning

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), [Saved from Drowning], lithograph, plate 7 from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens, a sur blanc impression from the album, with binding holes at left (also published with letterpress verso in Le Charivari; Daumier Register 1029, second state (of 3); in very good condition, 10 x 7.5 inches.

A very good impression.

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
UN HOMME SAUVE MALGRE LUI.
– Mais puisque je vous dis que je sais nager et que je me serais bien tire de l’eau sans monsieur!….
– a ne fait rien… la loi est positive… vous devez payer vingt cinq francs a votre sauveur… par exemple, s’il vous avait sauve mort vous ne lui auriez paye qu quinze francs!….

 

Translation:
A MAN SAVED AGAINST HIS WILL.
– But I am telling you that I know how to swim and I could have pulled myself out of the water without the help of this gentleman!
– That makes no difference…. the law is quite clear… you must pay 25 Francs to your rescuer…. for example, if you had been dead, you would only have had to pay him 15 Francs.

A Fair Exchange

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), [A Fair Exchange], hand colored lithograph, from the series Robert Macaire, 1836-38, published in Le Charivari and also separately sur blanc. Daumier Register 357, third state (of 3), 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches. The matrix in adequate condition but with stains, a tear lower right (in margin), stains in margins, soft folds, other defects.

A good impression, the colors vivid.

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
Robert Macaire Escompteur.
Voici mes conditions : Vous me ferez une lettre de change de 40,000 f. je vous donnerai 25 f. argent 3000 f. de moutarde blanche et de soques articules 3000 f. de pommes de terre frites, – une roue de cabriolet deux vaches quatre actions du Physionotype et un quintal de connaissances utiles.. Je nai pas dautres valeurs en portefeuille, mais cela vaut de lor.

 

Translation:
Robert Macaire, discount broker.
Here are my conditions. You make me out a bill of exchange for 40’000 Fr. and I’ll give you 25 Fr. in cash, 3’000 Fr. worth of white mustard and articulated clogs, 3’000 Fr. worth of chips, a carriage wheel, two cows, four shares in Physionotype and a quintal of useful facts… I don’t have any other assets in hand, but these are worth their weight in gold.

An Unpleasant Encounter

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

 


Honore Daumier (1808-1879), An Unpleasant Encounter, lithograph, plate 16 from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens, 1843, published in Le Charivari; in very good condition, 10 1/2 x 8 inches. Daumier Register 1038, second state (of 4), before the lines upper left were added to suggest rainfall.

A very good impression, sur blanc (and thus on a strong wove paper, without letterpress verso)

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
UNE RENCONTRE DESAGREABLE.
Ah! Bernardel! Bernardel! . v’la le bateau a vapeur, nous sommes enfonces!

Translation:
AN UNPLEASANT ENCOUNTER.
Bernardel, Bernardel! Here comes the steamer… we will sink!

 

 

Fans of Comedy

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1807-1879), Se posant en appreciateurs, lithograph, plate 10 from the series LES PARISIENS EN 1852, published in Le Charivari, 1852; an impression on letterpress with the letters from the journal verso. Reference: Daumier Register 2227, second state (of 2); in generally good condition, a water stain lower right, some horizontal folds, 9.8 x 8.6 inches.

A strong bright impression.

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
Se posant en appreciateurs de la bonne comedie.

Translation:
They pose as lovers of a good comedy.

 

The Danes and the Germans

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

 

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Voyons, faut pas etre injuste, lithograph, plate 8 from the series Croquis Parisiens, published in Le Charivari, 1864. Daumier Register 3287, second state (of 2), 8 x 9.4 inches.

A very good impression, from the letterpress edition, with the newsprint verso.

 

Original Text:
– Voyons, faut pas etre injuste, quoiqu’on aime les Danois…. il y a du bon chez les Allemands …. la biere!

 

Translation:
We shouldn’t be unfair. One may like the Danes… but let’s not forget that the Germans also have something good… their beer!

 

A Conspiracy on the Train

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), A Conspiracy on the Train, plate 3 from the series En Chemin de Fer, published in Le Charivari, 1864, Daumier Register 3298, second state (of 2), 9 x 8 7/8 inches.

A very good impression, printed on letterpress (with the newsprint verso).

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
– Ils ont l’air de se concerter….. je suis bien fach d’etre monte dans ce wagon!… et dire qu’il n’y a pas moyen de faire arreter le train!

 

Translation:
They seem to be planning a conspiracy….how stupid of me to having chosen this compartment…. and there is no way of stopping the train!

Leaving the Tavern

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Tout est Paye?, lithograph, plate 31 from the series Types Parisiens, published in La Caricature Provisoire, 1839, in generally good condition (a stain upper middle of matrix), trimmed at the top and bottom of the sheet so without the series title and plate number at the top and address data below, 6 x 8 inches.

A good impression from the early printed edition, with letterpress verso.

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
TOUT EST PAYE? NOUS N’AVONS FAIT SOTTISE A PERSONNE!!……SALUT.

 

Translation:
EVERYTHING IS PAID FOR? AND WE DIDN’T INSULT ANYONE… BYE.

La Pipe Matinale

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), La Pipe Matinale, lithograph, plate 6 from the series Silhouettes, published in Le Charivari, 1841, Daumier Register 855, third state (of 3), 8 x 8 1/4 inches.

A very good impression from Le Charivari, with letterpress verso.

 

 

From the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
LA PIPE MATINALE.
Le Tabac de caporal fait maintenant partie integrale de ce que les poetes appellent les suaves parfums du matin; et grace aux bouffes que lui envoyent de toutes parts les fumeurs, l’aurore, jadis au teint de rose, doit etre bien prs d’etre culottee.

 

Translation:
THE MORNING PIPE.
The corporal’s tobacco has become an integral part, as the poet says, of the morning air; and thanks to the puffs the pipe smokers are sending into the sky, the once rose colored dawn will soon take on a smoky color.

No Respect for Money

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Honore Daumier, No Respect for Money, lithograph, 1841, from the series Robert Macaire 2eme serie, published in Le Charivari and also in the Album Robert Macaire 2eme serie; Daumier Register 883, second state (of 3); a sur blanc impression (presumably from the album, on a fine wove paper without the letterpress verso), 8 x 9.8 inches.

A very good impression.

Translation:

Original Text:
– Comme tu y vas, on voit bien que l’argent ne te coute rien ! si je te laissais faire, je serais bientot devore.. Bah ! mon pere, ce n’est pas pour vous que vous amassez. Cest pour toi peut-etre, non, non, au train de vie que tu menes, je vivrai plus que toi – Vous n’avez, mon cher pre, que des choses desagreables a me dire

 

Translation:
– The way you live shows that you have no respect for money!
If I allowed this to continue, I’d be devoured in no time!
– But father it surely isn’t for you that you are saving all this money!
– Definitely not for you…. looking at the way you spend your life, I’ll surely outlive you.
– Father, why are you always so negative!

La Lecture du Journal

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Honore Daumier, La Lecture du Journal, lithograph, 1840, as published in Le Charivari, Daumier Register 852, second state (of 2). Plate 3 from the series Silhouettes. In good condition, printed on newsprint, with lettering (the journal Charivari) verso.

A very good impression.

Translation, from the DR:

Original Text:
LA LECTURE DU JOURNAL.
Ah! j’espere qu’aujourd’hui enfin mon grand Journal m’apprendra quelque chose de nouveau et de definitif touchant la crise actuelle….. voyons….. “La situation est grave….” Hum! Hum! ca commence a devenir monotone.
(Refrain de chaque matin).

 

Translation:
READING THE NEWSPAPER .
Oh, I hope that my great journal finally reports some good news about the present crisis…. now, let’s see.. hm.. hmm..”The situation is serious”…. this is really getting to be somewhat monotonous.
(Every morning the same story)

Little Piglet

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879),Hein ! Comme il regarde les cervelas, lithograph, plate 51 from the series Moeurs Conjugales, published in Le Charivari in 1842, and in Album Moeurs Conjugales in 1843, a sur blanc impression (without letterpress verso, on strong wove paper), in good condition with only slight toning, Daumier Register 674, second state (of 3), 8.3 x 9 inches.

A fine impression.

Here’s the translation from the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
Hein ! Comme il regarde les cervelas, les jambons… Nous aimerons donc l’tat de papa…. petit cochon!….

 

Translation:
Look! See how his eyes are on the saveloys and the ham…. it seems we like Papa’s job?….. my little piglet!

A Musical Gift

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879),Oh! monsieur, quel talent possde, lithograph, plate 8 from the series CROQUIS MUSICAUX, 1852, Daumier Register 2235, 1852, published in Charivari, with letterpress verso, in good condition apart from a stain lower right (not affecting matrix). 8.6 x 10.1 inches

A very good impression.

Translation from the Daumier Register:

 

Original Text:
Oh! monsieur, quel talent possde mademoiselle votre fille… quel talent, quel talent! – Dans notre famille nous sommes tous suprieurement organiss pour la musique… moi-mme, dans ma jeunesse, j’ai t de premire force sur la clarinette.

 

Translation:
– Oh Monsieur, your daughter possesses quite an extraordinary musical gift,….. what a talent, ….. what a talent!
– It’s in the family, you know, we are all quite artistically inclined. I for example was an outstanding clarinettist, when I was young!..

Bains de Femmes

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

 

 

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Bains de Femmes, lithograph, plate 20 from the series Les Baigneurs, 1840-42, published in Le Charivari in 1841; Daumier Register 780, third state (of 3), 10.4 x 7.2 inches

A very good, clear impresion on cream wove paper, without text verso.

Translation from the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
Bains de femmes.
Oui Madame, c’est comme j’ai l’honneur de vous le dire, je l’ai port onze mois, qu’on croyait que j’tais hydropique; Dirait-on que a n’a que six ans, il tient de son pre, Tambour major de la 6me Lgion, chantant la Marseillaise par cur et buvant la goutte le matin comme un petit pompier. Oh! n’amour, baisez vot’mre tout de suite.

 

Translation:
The Ladies’ Bath.
Yes, my dear, it is just the way I have the honour of telling you. I was pregnant with him for eleven months and people thought I was dropsical. Would you believe that this is already six years ago? He takes after his father, drum-major of the 6th legion. sings the Marseillaise (national anthem) by heart and has a drink in the morning like a real fire-fighter. Oh, my little darling, come here and give your mother a kiss!

An Encounter in Open Water

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

 

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), An Encounter in Open Water, lithograph, plate 11 from Les Canotiers Parisiens, 1843, Daumier Register 1033, third state (of 3), in good condition, a sur blanc impression, from the Album, on quality wove paper without the letterpress verso,10.2 x 8.1 inches.

At this time boating in the Seine in Paris was a fashionable hobby. In this image it appears the working sailors are less enamored than the passengers.

Translation from the Daumier Register:

UNE RENCONTRE EN PLEINE EAU.
– Oh! h! . . l bas . . . Capitaine! qu’y a-t-il de nouveau Paris? – Rien de nouveau . . . . on continue n’aller gure la Gat, et pas du tout I’ Ambigu. . . . – Vous n’ avex plus rien me dire ? . . . . – Ah si! . . . j’oubliais . . . . si a peut vous faire plaisir, je vous dis z’ut!

 

Translation:
AN ENCOUNTER IN OPEN WATER.
– Hello… down there… Captain.., what’s new in Paris?
– Nothing new really… still no one goes to the Gaiet or the Ambigu.
– Don’t you have anything else to tell me?
– Oh yes,… I forgot… I hope you like it… shut up!

Oursikoff – do you see any similarity? No, sire.

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Oursikoff, lithograph, from Actualities, Plate number 72, published in Charivari, 1854. Reference: Daumier Register 2519, second state of two, a newsprint impression. In adequate condition for an original newsprint impression still attached to the issue of Charivari in which the lithograph appeared. 10 x 8 inches.

A fascinating example, a Russian officer looking at a rendering of himself, asking a lackey if it’s a good representation (and saying he’d be sent to Siberia if he agreed it was a good image.

Here’s the translation from the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
– Oursikoff! …trouvez-vous cela ressemblant?……… – Non, Sire!……
– A la bonne heure….. je vous aurais envoy en Sibrie si vous m’aviez reconnu….. toutes ces mauvaises charges du CHARIVARI n’empchent pas que je ne sois toujours le plus bel homme de mon empire!…..
– Oui, Sire!……

 

Translation:
– Oursikoff… do you see any similarity?
– No, Sire..
– Good for you… otherwise I would have sent you to Siberia…! After all these caricatures by the CHARIVARI… I still am the most beautiful man in the country!
– Yes Sire!

Man in his Natural State

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Honore Daumier (1808-1879),LHomme in naturalibus, lithograph, from the Robert Macaire 2nd series, plate number 17. Published 1840-41. In generally good condition; a tiny hole lower right, 9 x 10 inches.

A very good impression, of the 4th state, noted in the Daumier Register as “Rare.”

 

Here’s the translation of the text from the Daumier Register:
L’Homme in naturalibus.
La philosophie, mon cher Bertrand, explique fort bien nos deux caractéres par nos physiques.. tu es la faiblesse, je suis la force. toi la ruse, moi le courage . tu es le lire et moi le chne, sans moi, le plus lger souffle de la gendarmerie te plongerait dans le torrent du malheur ne me quitte pas et fais inscrire sur tes armes : je meurs ou je mattache.

 

Translation:
Man in his natural state.
Philosophy, my dear Bertrand, explains our two characters simply by looking at us… You are weak, I am strong… you are sharp, I am courageous… you are the ivy and I am the oak! Without my help the slightest breeze from the police would drag you into a torrent of misfortune… you must never leave me and write on your shield: death or attachment.

Tendres Stocks: The Complete Etchings

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

 

Chas Laborde (1886-1941), Tendres Stocks: The Complete Etchings, c. 1924, etching, engraving, colored etching proofs before publication of the book. A suite of 13 impressions in black and white, and 13 in color; 26 in all; impressions printed before the book edition of Tendres Stocks by Paul Morand, published by Emile-Paul Freres, Paris, 1924.

This set of 13 etchings in color, and 13 in black in white, was published in a small edition of only 24, on Holland paper (many with a fleur de lys watermark). The book containing the etchings in color was published in an edition of 550. The published book is widely available; we have not encountered another set of the proofs before publication on the market.

In very good condition, the full sheets with deckle edges, impressions of varying sizes, the sheets 10 x 7 inches.

Additional illustrations are, of course, available on request.

 

Courses a Longchamp

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Courses a Longchamp, 1938, engraving and drypoint. Reference: Laboureur 534, sixth state (of 6). In good condition, printed on a cream wove Arches paper (with the Arches France watermark. 15 x 18 1/2, the sheet 19 3/4 x 25 3/4 inches.

A very good impression, from the Chalcographie du Louvre edition (with the blindstamp, cf. Lugt 1695 and 1695a).

Laboureur felt that this print represented the culmination of thirty years of working with the engraving burin.

L’Entomologiste

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), L’Entomologiste, 1932-3, engraving. Reference: Laboureur 475, sixth state (of 6). In good condition, the full sheet, printed on cream Arches paper (with the watermark), 15 x 16 1/4, the sheet 19 3/4 x 25 3/4 inches.

A very good impression, from the Chalcographie du Louvre edition, with it’s blindstamp (Lugt 1695a).

L’Entomologiste is a tour de force example of Laboureur’s work in engraving.

La Rentree au Seminaire, 1897

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), La Rentree au Seminaire, 1897, woodcut, signed in ink lower right and inscribed “tire a 15 ex.” [also with monogram in the plate]. Reference: Laboureur 566, only state. In good condition, with some staining toward margin edge not affecting image, tack-holes at corners, 4 3/8 x 4 3/8, the sheet 9 5/8 x 8 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a grey/green wove paper.

A very early woodcut; the first time that Laboureur used a monogram within the plate.

This woodcut was made shortly after Laboureur learned printmaking from the famed printmaker – and woodcut specialist – Auguste Lepere; and the composition, with its ordering of a mass of marchers, appears to be influenced by Felix Valloton, an early Laboureur colleague.

Le Moulin Abandonne

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Moulin Abandonne, etching and engraving, 1934, signed lower left and numbered and annotated “imp” in pencil lower right. Reference: Laboureur 489, second state (of 6), In very good condition, with large margins, printed on a cream wove paper, 10 1/8 x 11 7/8, the sheet 14 x 19 inches.

A fine impression of this large composition.

The composition was essentially complete in the first state; in the second state an adjustment was made to the standing woman’s hair; in the second state her reflection was added to the water, a monogram and additional shading were added in subsequent states. About 92 impressions in all states were printed before the plate was canceled.

Les Barques (the small boats)

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Les Barques (the small boats), etching and drypoint, 1932, signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right, also annotated “imp” [also with the initial in the plate lower left. Reference: Laboureur 465, second state (of 2), from the lifetime edition of about 27 (there was a posthumous edition of about 240 impressions printed in 1959, used to illustrate the volume Laboureur en Briere, by Toesca). In excellent condition, printed on a cream wove BFK Rives paper (with the watermark), 3 7/8 x 7 3/4, the sheet 9 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches.

A fine impression.

Briereis the marsh area to the north of the Loire estuary inFranceat its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean.

Chez le Patissier

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Chez le Patissier, engraving, etching and roulette, 1924, signed in pencil lower right. Reference: Laboureur 278, third state (of 3), from the total printing of about 138 impressions in all states. In excellent condition, with full margins, 5 1/2 x 4 5/8, the sheet 11 x 8 3/4 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a cream wove paper.

A wonderful example of Laboureur’s cubist work in engraving, with the elongated Mannerist figures so characteristic of his work in this period.

This is the patisserie Mangin, rue du Havre, in Paris.

Orage en Briere

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Orage en Briere, etching an drypoint, 1932, signed in pencil lower left, numbered lower right and annotated “imp” (impressit, printed by the artist personally). Reference: Laboureur 461, third state (of 4), from the edition of 42 in this state (11 in states one and two; state four was published posthumously, see below). In very good condition, printed on an old greyish laid paper with irregular edges (with a Bunch of Grapes watermark), 6 3/4 x 7 1/4, the sheet 8 x 10 5/8 inches.

A fine impression of this interesting composition, with two women and a child lower left braving the storm.

This is of course a lifetime impression; the plate was used posthumously in 1959 to print about 248 impressions to illustrate the volume by Toesca titled Laboureur en Briere.

Briere is a village in Brittany, in a marsharea to the north of the Loire estuary in France at its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean. Cottages with thatched roofs are still to be found in the area.

 

Chez la Fleuriste

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Chez la Fleuriste, etching, 1919-1920, unsigned [with initials and date in the plate]. Reference: Laboureur 192, second state (of 2), from the edition of about 67 proofs on a cream/tan japon paper before the much larger issue inserted in the no. IV of the review Feuillets d’art. In good condition apart from moderate light staining, with margins, 8 x 6, the sheet 11 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches.

A very good impression.

A fine example of Laboureur’s work in a cubist idiom, with the mannerist figures Laboureur favored during this period.

Le Facteur Rural

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Facteur Rural, engraving, 1924, signed in pencil lower right. Reference: Laboureur 283, third state (of 3), from the total printing of about 80. In excellent condition, the full sheet, 5 1/8 x 6 3/4, the sheet 9 x 11 inches.

A fine impression of this rural mailman, with bicycle and pouch; all in engraving with the slightest trace of roulette at the lower foreground, and with a light veil of plate tone.

Printed on a cream wove Arches (France) paper, with the watermark.

Causerie Villageoise

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Causerie Villageoise (Village Chat), engraving with touches of roulette and etching, 1924, signed in pencil lower left, numbered and inscribed “imp” lower right, titled by the artist lower left margin. Reference: Laboureur 287, fourth state (of 4). In excellent condition, the full sheet, printed on a cream wove BFK Rives paper (with the watermark), 4 3/4 x 5 1/8, the sheet 7 1/2 x 10 inches.

A fine impression; a splended example of Laboureur’s using engraving to render a cubist-influenced composition.

Le Charmeur de Moineaux

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Charmeur de Moineaux, etching and engraving, 1933, signed in pencil lower left and inscribed “a Monsieur Armand Olivier, en hommage”, also numbered lower right and annotated “imp.” Reference: Laboureur 477, third state (of 3), from the total of 75 impressions pulled, in generally good condition apart from slight light staining, 5 x 7 1/2, the sheet 8 3/4 x 10 3/4 inches.

A fine impression.

Although numbered 3/120, there were no impressions pulled after number 68.

Laboureur also made a lithograph of a similar scene (Laboureur 784), as well as a gouache.

The man at the left appears to be feeding the sparrows (moineaux).

Le Petit Hotel de Ville

Friday, February 9th, 2018

 

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Petit Hotel de Ville, 1922, signed in pencil lower left, numbered lower right, and annotated “imp.” Reference: Laboureur 244, first state (of 2), from the group of 8 in this state (47 in all). In generally good condition apart from streaks of light staining (most visible in the margins), printed on a wove Arches paper (with the watermark), with margins, 5 x 4 1/4, the sheet 10 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches.

A fine impression; a good example of Laboureur’s exacting work in engraving, working in a cubist idiom

This is the city hall of Roche-La Roche-Bernard, a commune in the Morbihan department of Brittany in north-western France.

Le Ferveur

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Ferveur, etching, engraving, roulette, drypoint, 1928, signed in pencil lower left, numbered lower right, and annotated “imp.” Reference: Laboureur 370, first state (of 2), from the edition of 15 in this state (another 500 impressions were printed for inclusion in the volume Ferveur (see below). In good condition, moderate light staining, with margins, 5 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches.

A very good impression, with shading especially in the clouds toward the top right created with the use of an extremely fine-pointed roulette tool.

This engraving, in its second state, was the frontispiece for a recueil of poems entitled Ferveur, by Matilda Pomes (cf. Laboureur Vol. 2, section 2, page 364). In the second state lines representing rain were added (we can already see the dark clouds here in the first state) as well as the artist’s monogram.

Dimanche en Bretagne

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Dimanche en Bretagne, etching, 1939, signed in pencil lower left and inscribed “ep d’artite” lower right. Reference: Laboureur 543, second state (of three, but see discussion below). In very good condition, printed on a cream/tan wove paper, 7 1/2 x 5 7/8, the sheet 10 3/4 x 8 3/8 inches.

A fine lifetime impression of this rare work, the last etching printed by Laboureur before his final illness.

Sylvan Laboureur, in his catalog raisonne, incorrectly notes that the monogram between the trees was entered in a third state by a technician, and that some impressions of the second state (and all of the third) were posthumous. However, this proof, with Laboureur’s signature and notation, shows that the print was completed (with the monogram) by the artist, in the second state, and that this surely is the definitive state of the print. Impressions were printed posthumously for inclusion in the revue le Portique and hors texte for a volume of Illustrations of J.-E. Laboureur. The plate was eventually given to the Bibliotheque Nationale.

The subject matter is the river Bono, to the south of Auray (in Brittany, northwest France).

 

Le Chemin de Camoelin

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Chemin de Camoelin, etching and drypoint, 1928, signed in pencil lower left and numbered and annotated imp lower right. Reference: Laboureur 385, second state (of 2), from the edition of 58 in this state (another 8 impressions of the first state were printed). In excellent condition, printed on a cream wove BFK Rives paper (with their watermark), the full sheet, 4 x 4 3/4, the sheet 9 5/8 x 11 3/8 inches.

A fine impression of this iconic rural composition.

The first state was before the monogram bottom left, and before some lines of drypoint in the roofs. In 1959 the plate was steelfaced, and an additional 208 impressions were printed (posthumously) for inclusion in a volume by Toesca, Laboureur en Briere (1959).

Camoelin is a hamlet in the village of Camoel, near Penestin (in Brittany, the northwest coast of France).

Le Chemin de la Foret

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Chemin de la Foret, etching and engraving, 1926, signed in pencil lower left and inscribed epreuve d’artiste lower right. Reference: Laboureur 329, first state (of 3). In excellent condition, printed on a cream wove paper, 8 x 6, the sheet 12 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, delicately printed, before the monogram and the cross-hatching of the foliage at the right. There were two artist’s proofs and another 7 numbered impressions of the first state (a total of about 100 impressions were printed in all states).

Broadway, New York, 1907, first state before lettering

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

 

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Broadway, New York, etching, 1907, signed in pencil lower left. Reference: Laboureur 70, first state (of 2), before the lettering and before publication in the Gazette des Beaux Arts, one of 50 impressions on a cream/yellow simile japon included in the deluxe edition of the Gazette des Beaux Arts. In very good condition, 7 5/8 x 6 1/8, the sheet 11 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches.

A fine impression.

Broadway, New York 1907, published state

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Broadway, New York, etching, 1907. Reference: Laboureur 70, from the edition of 1200 published by the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, with the printing below (J.E. Laboureur aquaf; Broadway, New York (Salon d’Automne, 1907, Imp. A. Porcabeuf, Paris). In good condition apart from moderate light staining, 7 1/2 x 6, the sheet 10 1/2 x 7 inches.

A good impression.

This composition was initially titled Broadway and Herald Square, which would be the area of Broadway and 34th Street. The composition was created from two photos Laboureur took of the area.

Les Deux Chaumieres

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Les Deux Chaumieres, 1927-28, etching and engraving, signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right. Laboureur 356, second state (of 4). One of the seven impressions printed in this state (84 in all), before the monogram in the plate, and some added shading in the trees. In excellent condition (paper folded less than an inch at sides); 4 1/2 x 6, 10 x 13 (before folds) inches.

A fine impression on cream wove paper. This impression appears to be an intermediate state between states one and two, before some shading on the figures at the left and in the trees at left in S. Laboureur’s second state.

A good example of Laboureur’s turn toward realism, and away from cubism, in the late ’20’s.

 

L’Auberge du Bord de L’Eau (Petite Planche)

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), L’Auberge du Bord de L’Eau (Petite Planche), engraving, 1924, signed in pencil lower left, numbered lower right ((41/60), and titled in pencil by the artist lower margin edge. Reference: Laboureur 310, third state (of 3), from the edition of 60 in this state. In very good condition, the full sheet with deckle edges, 3 1/2 x 4 7/8, the sheet 8 3/4 x 11 inches.

A fine impression of this gem, printed on a Van Gelder Zonen cream wove paper (with partial watermark).

Published by Henri Petiet, with his blindstamp (Lugt 2021a).

Ex collection Alan Fortunoff (not in Lugt)

Apparently totally completed in engraving, using an entremely fine gravure (although catalogued as an etching by Sylvan Laboureur); the plate was also carefully wiped to leave a fine filter of plate tone on the lower left and the field at the right.

This plate, and a larger version (L 317) were created along the Seine when the artist stayed in the village of Champrosay, in a house neighboring that of his colleague the artist Marie Laurencin.

Le 14-Juillet au Village

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le 14-Juillet au Village, engraving and roulette, 1925, signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right (30/100) [also initialed and dated in the plate lower left]. Reference: Laboureur 292, third state (of three), from the edition of 100 impressions in the third state (115 printed in all states). In very good condition (the slightest coloration at paper’s edge, time staining in the margins), the full sheet, 5 3/4 x 6 1/2, the sheet 11 x 15 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a strong cream wove paper, with deckle edges.

ex collection Alan Fortunoff

A splendid example of Laboureur’s use of engraving, plus the use of a roulette tool to create the shaded areas (the trees, the lawn to the left of the building. We do not see any evidence of etching, although Sylvan Laboureur catalogued the print as etching and engraving. The children and adults – their outlines and shading – are engraved, as are the clouds, and the shading effects on the rooftop and the ground at the very bottom of the composition.

 

Portrait of Elias Frise

Monday, November 13th, 2017

James Ensor (1860-1949), Portrait of Elias Frise, etching, 1886, signed, titled (leancetre) and dated in pencil recto; also signed and titled verso, on laid japon nacre paper. References: Delteil 3, Elesh 3, second state (of 2). In very good condition, with wide margins (hinged at top to a backing sheet, not matted), 9 3/4 x 7 3/4, the sheet 16 x 11 1/2 inches.

Provenance:

Augusta Boogaerts (1850-1951), Ostend, a gift from the artist (with her initials AB in pencil verso)

Mira Jacob Wolfovska (1912-2004), Paris, with her blindstamp lower right margin blindstamp (Lugt 4576; Jacob was a renowned figure in the Parisian art world; her gallery was Le Bateau Lavoir)

A fine impression, printed in black ink with plate tone.

The first state is without Ensors signature and date.

Elesh notes that this print has been variously identified as Portrait dun ecclesiastique, Portrait, and Viellard, but that it is a portrait of the Swedish botanist Elias Fries, made after an anonymous lithograph; and that the reasons Ensor made the print are open to conjecture. But we can offer some clues as to Ensors motivation.

Elias Magnus Frise (1794-1878), Swedish botanist, was the developer of the first system to classify fungi, a system still valid for many groups of fungi today. He also developed a system for classifying lichens. Wikipedia notes that his taxonomy of mushrooms was influenced by Goethe and the German romantics.

During his student years at the Academy Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels Ensor became acquainted with a number of anti-establishment artists including the symbolists Fernand Khnopff, and Willy Finch. He also found a kindred spirit in Theo Hannon, a dilettante painter and writer, andbrother ofMariette Rousseau, a respected scientist and the wife of Ernest Rousseau, the rector of the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. He met often at the Rousseau house, meeting such luminaries as Felicien Rops, and a wide diversity of scientists and scholars of all sorts. Mariette introduced him to the microscope, and images from this experience can surely be seen in much of his later work. Most pertinent for our explication of the Frise portait: Mariettes specialty was mycology (mushrooms), the same as Frises. So Ensor may well have made this portrait for Mariette, or at least in light of his relationship with Mariette.

Ensor called this print Portrait dun ecclesiastique, Portrait,and Viellard [old man]; and in this print he titles it Ancestor but it is quite typical of him to keep outsiders from knowing what he was up to, both in his imagery and his verbiage (cf. the recent small volume by Tom Jacobson, The Hidden World of James Ensor,for fascinating examples of images within images).

Frises cap appears to be decorated with flowers.

No se puede saber por qu One cant tell why

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

 

Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes (1746 Fuendetodos Bordeaux 1828),No se puede saber por que One cant tell why ca. 18081814, etching, burnished aquatint, drypoint, and burin on laid paper; 155 x 203 mm (6 1/8 x 8 inches), Harris 155.I.2 (of III.7)

provenance

Infante Don Sebastian de Borbn y Braganza

Georges Provot, Paris; his sale, Hotel Drouot, April 10, 1935, lot 64

Tomas Harris, London (Lugt 4921)

private collection, Germany

A fine, rich proof impression for plate 35 ofLos Desastres de la Guerre, before numbers, letters, and before additional drypoint and burin work.

No impression of state I.1 (before the aquatint) is known nor are any proof impressions with numbers (Harris hypothetical state I.3) known. Harris lists nine impressions of state I.2, including this one. This is a lifetime impression; the edition was published posthumously.

No less than eight convicts are about to be garroted. Each man clutches a crucifix, sign that they have already made their last confession. Their crime, ownership of a weapon is announced on placards hanging around their necks, alongside the weapons themselves. Many Spanish citizens were executed this way. Their crimes were not only murder and armed robbery; suspicion of espionage for the insurgents or any other support for them was sufficient to subject the accused to this cruel fate.

An impression from the First Edition is shown below, for comparison purposes (this impression is also available)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamming at the Savoy

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Romare Bearden (1911-1988), Jamming at the Savoy, 1980-81, colored etching and aquatint. Reference: Gelburd and Rosenberg (2, p. 9); GG #95 (p. 29). Signed, titled and numbered (124/180), from the edition of 180. The full sheet, in excellent condition, 16 5/8 x 23 3/4, the sheet 22 1/2 x 30 1/8 inches.

A fine, fresh impression, with colors vivid.

This print can be provided framed or in the mat.

Maisons au Bord de la Mer

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Maisons au Bord de la Mer, etching, 1936, numbered bottom right (26/66) and inscribed in the bottom margin by Suzanne Laboureur (see below). Reference: S. Laboureur 511, third state (of 3), from the edition of about 48 pulled in 1977 at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the artist. In excellent condition, the full sheet, printed on a heavy cream wove paper, 10 14 x 8 5/8, the sheet 15 x 11 inches.

A fine impression.

At the bottom of the sheet Suzanne Laboureur, Laboureur’s wife, writes that the completed edition, numbered 18 to 66, was done on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the artist, who died in this house in 1943. (see detail below)

The site is that of the beach at Poudrantay (commune of Penestin, Morbihan).

Une Marmite

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Une Marmite, engraving, 1916, signed in pencil lower left; titled, dated and inscribed epreuve de 1er etat bottom margin edge [with the initial and date in the plate]. Reference: S. Laboureur 149, first state (of 4); only 8 or so impressions in the first state (this may be the first); in the published state, with lettering at the bottom, there were 135 proofs. In very good condition (the margin at right cut a bit ragged and close to the plate mark, but still away from it), 7 x 5 1/2, the sheet 8 1/4 x 6 3/8 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a thin cream laid paper.

This is obviously a wartime print, with the two soldiers at the corner viewing an explosion behind them. This is a plate from a series called Des Petite Images de la Guerre sur le front Britannique.

A relatively early example of Laboureurs adoption of the cubist idiom, done in engraving.

Viaduc a Monaco

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboueur (1877-1943), Viaduc a Monaco, 1931, etching, signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right (2/8), annotated imp.; also titled lower left margin edge. Reference: S. Laboureur 437, first state (of 3), from the group of 8 in the first state (a total of 54 proofs were pulled in all states). Printed on cream wove paper with the watermark VMA. 11 1/4 x 8 1/4, the sheet 18 x 11 inches.

A fine impression of this early state.

This is a rather realistic portrait of the railroad viaduct, Saint Devote, Monte Carlo, Riviera; the figures, however, are in a mannerist mode.

 

Les Grandes Celebrites de la France

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Les Grandes Celebrites de la France, lithograph, 1939, plate 2 from the series Les Saltimbanques, from La Caricature Provisoire (also published later in Le Charivari, 1843). Reference: Daumier Register 620, second state (of 5). With lettering, and the initials (in the plate lower left). Printed on a wove paper. In good condition (formerly folded across the middle, now flattened) , 11 1/2 x 8 7/8, the sheet 13 1/8 x 10 inches.

A very good impression.

An impression of Les Grande Celebrites de la France was shown in the Metropolitan Museum’s show Seurat’s Circus Sideshow (At The Met Fifth Avenue, FEBRUARY 17MAY 29, 2017) as an example of art which helped lead to Seurat’s masterpiece.

Here’s a translation of the print’s text, from the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
Vous voyez ici les grandes clbrits de la France littraire, musicale et artistique, ils ont tous 36 pieds au dessous du niveau de la mer…….

 

Translation:
Here you see the great celebrities of literary, musical and artistic France. They are 36 feet tall – measured below sea level.

Dup

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Dup, lithograph, 1832, from the series Celebrites de la Caricature, plate 171. Reference: Delteil 45, Daumier Register 45, only state. In generally good condition (with what appears as stains on recto but characterizing impressions of this print), with hand coloring in the contrived coat of arms below (possibly the coloring caused the staining), on wove paper, 11 x 6 1/2 inches.

Provenance:

G Cognacq (Lugt 538d, stamp verso)

R. Gaston-Dreyfus (initials stamp verso)

Ramus, Charles F. Collection

Nehorayan, A. Collection. New York, NY (impression noted in the Daumier Register)

Sothebys New York, February 13, 1980

An impression catagorized as rare by the Daumier Register.

From the Daumier Register: This lithograph is a portrait of Dupin. The coat of arms created by Philipon shows a money bag (corruption), a weather-vane (wryneck) and a pair of worn out shoes (insinuation to Dupins useless march to the Duc dOrlans). The text shows that he is able to plead for and against the same cause.

DUPIN, Andr-Marie-Jean-Jacques, an, (1783-1865) was President of the Chamber of Representatives as well as Attorney General. Apart from that he held numerous other important Government positions. He was portrayed by Daumier both in a terracotta sculpture and in several lithographs. The abbreviation DUP is an insinuation to his limited intelligence. Nevertheless, Dupin was a well-known lawyer who adeptly defended Marshal Ney as well as the republican poet and singer Branger.

Dupin surely must be considered one of the more important politicians of his period, showing a certain trend towards liberal political ideas. It was he who suggested to the future King, the Duc dOrlans, to choose the name Louis-Philippe rather than Philippe VII. In 1832, he was nominated member of the Acadmie Franaise and became President of the Chamber.

 

Portrait

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Portrait, 1917, engraving, signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right (28/40). Reference: S. Laboureur 170, third state (of 3), from the edition of 40 in this state (54 proofs pulled overall). In excellent condition, 4 3/8 x 3 1/4, the sheet 9 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a cream laid paper.

An excellent example of Laboureurs adoption of a cubist idiom, using engraving lines to accentuate the linear quality of cubism; a small portrait that works splendidly.

 

Beach and Willows

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Frederick Garrison Hall (1879-1946), Beach and Willows, etching, c. 1920, signed in pencil by the artist (?) and annotated "by HPH". Reference: Elton Waylon Hall: Frederick Garrison Hall: Etchings, Bookplates, Designs; Beach and Willows, 1972: Etching no. 5; also The Print Connoisseur, 1921, Vol. 1, NO. 3, p 229 No. 7. Only state known, edition of 50. 6 1/2 x 10, the sheet 10 1/2 x 14 inches. In very good condition.

A fine impression, printed on a wove paper.

Other impressions of Beach and Willows can be found in the Boston Public Library, Library of Congress, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University Art Gallery.

After studying art and architecture at Harvard, F.G. Hall spent about three years abroad, mostly in Paris (from about 1909-1912), eventually returning to Boston where he married Evelyn Ames (daughter Oliver Ames, governor of Massachusetts). Hall became a popular and well-known figure in the Boston art world, producing paintings, etchings, and bookplates (and also playing the harp, leading to a friendship with Harpo Marx, who commissioned several paintings from Hall. He was particularly influenced by the work of Charles Meryon, but it’s also clear – certainly from Beach and Willows – that he was also influenced by Rembrandt and his followers in the British Etchers tradition.

A Drunken Night Cap, Wine is a Mocker

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

(After) JAN VAN DER BRUGGEN (Brussels c1649 1690 Paris), A Drunken Night Cap, Wine is a Mocker, mezzotint, c. 1720, with artist’s name Mieris lower left in the plate, engraver’s initials JHL lower right in the plate. In generally good condition (water stain verso not visible recto), with small margins, 9 x 7 3/8, the sheet 10 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches.

A fine impression, possibly before letters, on old laid paper with a high crown (?) watermark.

This composition was initially conceived in a drawing (now lost) by Frans Mieris, then engravedby Hendrik Bary (Hollstein 11); later executed in mezzotint by Jan Van der Bruggen in reverse of the initial drawing and engraving, and here again made in mezzotint after Van der Bruggen (also in reverse of Mieris/Bary).

The Bary engraving was extensively lettered with the title, taken from Proverbs (20,1): Wine is a mocker.

The young woman in a drunken stupor is being (in line with the 17th century Netherlands saying) "crowned with a piss-pot" (fortunately empty in this instance) by a drunken fool. This was a popular subject in Dutch art and theatre; the classical source for the story is of Socrates being drenched by his angry wife Xanthippe.

After the Bary engraving of the Mieris drawing, others continued to portray the legend, including this mezzotint after the Van der Bruggen print; there was even an English version by James Wilson in 1772 with the title Dick Funny and Mrs Drowsy or the Punch Bowl Night Cap."

 

Walking in the Woods at Night

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Frank Arthur Nankivell (18691959), [Walking in the Woods at Night], drypoint, c. 1910, signed in pencil lower right. Printed on a cream laid paper. In good condition, with margins (slight light staining). 10 x 8, the sheet 11 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches.

A fine impression of this great rarity; no edition is known or indicated. Printed with extensive burr on the drypoint work, and carefully placed plate tone darkening the woods, but wiped to highlight the house in the woods and the foreground.

This impression was exhibited in the International Fine Print Center New York (IPCNY) 2013 exhibit The Armory Show, commemorating the Centennial of the 1913 Armory Show in New York.

Nankivell was born in Australia, and studied art at Wesley College, Melbourne. He later travelled to Japan and earned a living as a cartoonist in Tokyo. Nankivell left Japan in 1894 (although his art shows a debt to Japonisme) to study art in San Francisco, and left for New Yorkin 1896 where he worked on magazines as a popular and influential cartoonist devoting his work mainly to social and political subjects. He became friendly with a number of artists including Walt Kuhn, who nominated him for membership in the Association of American Artists and Sculptors, and Arthur B. Davies, who employed Nankivell as a printer. Nankivell remained in New York until 1913. Nankivell later became a member of the New York CircumnavigatorsClub, which was open only to those who had circumnavigated the globe longitudinally, by land and/or sea. Other members included Ernest Hemingway and Harry Houdini. Nankivell had about 7 paintings, and an etching, in the landmark1913 Armory Show; several of his works are in the collection of The Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

 

Le March aux Fleurs ou la Rencontre

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le March aux Fleurs ou la Rencontre, 1914, Engraving. Sylvain Laboureur 127, second state (of 2). Edition of 35. Signed, titled, and numbered 2/35 p in pencil. Signed and dated in the plate, lower left.

Image size: 11 1/8 x 13 9/16 inches (283 x 344 mm); sheet size 12 7/8 x 16 3/8 inches (327 x 416 mm).

A superb impression, with rich burr and delicate overall plate tone, on cream wove paper; full margins (6/8 to 1 3/8 inches); slight light toning within the original mat opening, otherwise in excellent condition.

One of Laboureurs most successful and earliest essays in his adaptation of cubism.

Les Deux Chaumires

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboureur, Les Deux Chaumires, etching, 1927-8, signed in pencil lower left, numbered and annotated “imp” lower right. Reference: S. Laboureur 356, second state (of 4). In excellent condition (apart from paper folded back slightly at left and right), 4 1/2 x 6, the sheet 10 x 13 inches.

A delicately printed, fine impression of this early state, before the initial in the plate. There were 7 impressions taken of this state, and about 80 impressions in all.

Sylvan Laboureur notes that this site is at Kerfahler (a commune of Penestin), now a well known camping area in western France.

Printemps Breton

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Printemps Breton, 1926, drypoint, roulette, aquatint, etching; signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right (37/50) with the imp inscription (printed by the artist). Reference: S. Laboureur 324, second state (of two), from the lifetime edition of about 50 (another edition of about 248, posthumous, was made in 1959 in conjunction with the publication of the volume Laboureur en Briere. In excellent condition, the full sheet, 3 1/8 x 5 1/8, the sheet 9 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a wove BFK Rives paper (with the watermark BFK).

Laboureur utilized anumber of techniques on this small plate to achieve an extraordinary aesthetic effect. The dark sky was created using a roulette tool, ordinarily used in preparing a plate for a mezzotint, which makes tiny pin-pointed marks in the plate which can hold ink; this tool was also used for the large dark field at the bottom center of the composition. The light gray field at the right just under the line of bushes and trees was done in aquatint. The outlines of the trees appears to have been done in etching; the darkening of the trees in drypoint (with associated burr). There is even evidence of engraving in the straight lines darkening the trees at the right. In all, a complex, and marvelously successful little print, by a master of the medium.

In all this print has appeared in at least 17 exhibits, mostly in France.

Le Promenade au Phare

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Promenade au Phare, engraving, 1925, signed in pencil lower left and numbered lower right (24/70) [with the initial in the plate lower left]. Reference: S. Laboureur 302, third state (of 3), published by Henri Petiet, with his blindstamp, in very good condition, on a cream laid paper with margins, 6 1/2 x 7, the sheet 8 x 10 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, with a light veil of plate tone overall, perhaps a bit darker toward the bottom of the sheet.

Henri M. Petiet was an illustrious Paris publisher and print dealer; his stamp (Lugt 2021a) is at the lower left.

This cubist/mannerist composition displays Laboureur’s astonishing skill with the engraving tool (the burin); engraving seems to have been the perfect method for his aesthetic at this stage in his career.

The “phare” at the center of the composition is the lighthouse.

Sur la Marne

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Sur la Marne, engraving, 1924, signed in pencil lower right [with the initial lower right in the plate]. Reference: S. Laboureur 277, third state (of 4), before the letters below the image, before the large edition in the fourth state as an illustration for an article by Claude Roger-Marx. With full margins, 7 x 5 1/4, the sheet 11 x 9 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a cream Arches paper (with the Arches watermark).

In addition to the cubist idiom this print, with its elongated figures, illustrates Laboureur’s interest in Mannerism – perhaps first ignited in his studies of the French, Italian and German old master prints during his early years in the print rooms in Dresden, Berlin, and Munich.

La Petite Plage

Friday, March 24th, 2017

 

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), La Petite Plage, 1926, etching and engraving, signed in pencil lower left [inscribed lower margin as a trial proof; also with initials and date in the plate]. Reference: S. Laboureur 327, third state (of 3), from the total printing of about 91. In generally good condition, with a mark (probably in the paper) upper left just above the plate mark (also a few light staining spots well away from image, printed on an old laid (ledger?) paper, the full sheet with wide margins, 5 x 6 3/8, the sheet 9 x 13 1/2 inches.

A very good impression of this rather interesting beach scene, with two women apparently exhausted after their tennis match resting at the left, children playing in the middle, and other beachgoers towards the right of the composition and on a porch on the house in the background.  Very fine, subtle engraved (or possibly drypoint) lines are used to create shading effects on the figures, the clouds, the rooftops.

Jeune Fille au Chapeau Blanc

Friday, March 24th, 2017

 

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Jeune Fille au Chapeau Blanc, 1921, etching and engraving. Reference: S. Laboureur 223, third state (of 3), edition of 30, about 47 impressions pulled in all. Signed lower left, numbered (15/30) lower right and inscribed imp (printed by the artist); also titled lower left near the edge in pencil [also with initials and date in the plate]. In excellent condition, remains of prior hinging verso, the full sheet with deckle edging, 6 1/2 x 4 5/8, the sheet 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches.

A fine fresh impression of this attractive inhabitant of Croisic. Printed on a cream wove paper, with a carefully wiped light plate tone.

Laboureur here uses engraving to accentuate the cubist quality of the composition; the woman’s hair appears to be in etching but most of the rest of the print is engraving.

Un Homme a La Mer

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

 

Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Un Homme a La Mer lithograph, 1843, [with initials in the plate]. Reference: Daumier Register 1036, plate number 14 from the series Les Canotiers Parisiens, published in Le Charivari, third state (of 4), before publication in Le Charivari, a sur blanc impression, in very good condition, with margins, on wove paper, 9 1/2 x 10 1/4, the sheet 10 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches. With the letters, addresses of Pannier (lower left), Aubert (lower center).

A fine strong impression.

Translation of the text from the Daumier Register:

Original Text:
UN HOMME A LA MER.
– Harponne le donc plus vigoureusement . . . nous ne pourrons pas l’avoir sans a! … – Et toi, tiens lui bien les jambes en l’air, c’est l’important! . . il n’y a rien qui enrhume comme de se mouiller la plante des pieds! . . . . .

 

Translation:
MAN OVERBOARD!
– Harpoon him more firmly!…. we can’t get him otherwise! And you, hold his legs up in the air, that’s very important…. There is nothing in the world that makes you catch a cold faster than by getting your feet wet.

L’Employe des Pompes Funebres

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), L’Employe des Pompes Funebres (The Mortician), color etching, 1902, signed and annotated (essai l’eau forte in 2 planches) in pencil lower left [also signed and dated in the plate lower left]. Reference: Sylvan Laboureur 29, only state (a line plate, then color plate(s). Printed on a cream laid paper with the watermark ARCHES. In excellent condition, the full sheet with deckle edging, 7 3/4 x 9, the sheet 10 3/4 x 14.

Provenance: Alfred Beurdeley, Paris (Lugt 421, stamp lower right recto); Eric Carlson, New York

A fine fresh impression of this early Laboureur rarity. A trial proof in colors.

S. Laboureur notes that there were three impressions of the line plate made before colors; then some trial proofs, then a numbered grouping (1-10); approximately 20 impressions altogether. The line plate has been canceled.

Although this impression is annotated as being made in 2 plates, and the Laboureur catalog raisonne also notes “deux planches”, the publication “Jean-Emile Laboureur: A Centenary Tribute” (French Institute/Alliance Francaise, New York, 1977) lists this print as made with three plates. The coloring is so complex that the latter number may well be correct.

Paysannes Dans un Champ de Haricots

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

 

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Paysannes Dans un Champ de Haricots, etching, aquatint, maniere grise; 1891, titled, signed, annotated 1er etat no. 10, also marked with a large Z by the artist in pencil. Reference: Delteil 103, only state. Delteil notes that there were 14 lifetime proofs (then 18 posthumous impressions). Printed on a cream laid paper, the image within the platemark: platemark size is 9 1/2 x 6 1/8, the image 6 7/8 x 5 1/4, the full sheet with deckle edges 16 3/4 x 11 3/4. In excellent condition.

A fine impression of this great rarity, printed personally by Pissarro with a delicate covering of platetone; there is also evidence of a special aquatinting process (manire grise which he invented with Degas (see below).

Although Pissarros annotation indicates that this was a first state, no later (or earlier) state is known. Also, although Delteil notes that there were 14 lifetime impressions, he accounts for only a few, at institutions (Muse du Luxembourg, Paris Bibliothque Nationale, Ashmolean Museum Oxford); this impression was acquired privately and we have not encountered lifetime impressions on the market in many decades.

Pissarro was perhaps the most active printmaker of the Impressionists; printmaking was an essential component of his career, and he was deeply involved in the process of creating and printing his prints.By mid-career Pissarro had made many etchings, using fairly conventional techniques (although of course aesthetically his work was hardly conventional), but it was Degas who introduced Pissarro to a range of unusual ways of working with the etching plate especially the use of aquatint. Among other innovations, they developed a variant of the aquatint technique called manire grise in which they scraped the plate with an emery point; that technique appears to have been used in this print.

Pissarro did not like professional printing of his etchings, and so he printed his plates himself (alsoDegas apparently printed many Pissarro proofs). The concept was not to produce a large edition of prints similar in appearance (only about 5 of Pissarro’s prints were in fact editioned during his lifetime); printmaking for Pissarro was a way of experimenting, achieving variations in light, mood, sensibility, with each proof. He did not intend to earn much money through printmaking (and he never did).

 

Judengasse in Berlin

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

 

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Lea Grundig-Langer (1906-1977), Judengasse in Berlin (Jewish Quarter in Berlin), 1934, signed and dated in pencil lower right, titled lower center, cycle name (Unterm Hakenkreuz) lower left). In excellent condition, printed on a heavy cream wove paper, the full sheet, 9 3/4 x 12 7/8 inches, the sheet 16 1/2 x 21.

Provenance: Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY.

A fine fresh impression, printed with carefully drawn plate tone.

Lea Langer was born in Dresden in 1906 where her family was part of the Jewish community. She studied at the city’s Decorative Arts and Crafts Academy before progressing, in 1924, to the prestigious Saxon Art Academy: here she was admitted into the Masterclass of Otto Gussmann where fellow participants included Otto Griebel, Wilhelm Lachnit und Hans Grundig. At the Academy she also got to know Otto Dix, whom she would come to regard as one of the most influential of her mentors.

She remained at The Academy till 1926, when she left the Jewish Community, joined the Communist party, and shortly thereafter married Hans Grundig. Her work was banned by the Nazis, who put her in prison for a short time; she later emigrated to Palestine, then back to Europe and eventually East Germany, where she was active politically while teaching and practicing her art.

Merry-Go-Round

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

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Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Merry-Go-Round, etching, 1930, signed in pencil lower right and numbered “24” lower left. In very good condition, with margins (cut irregularly, and with some ink smudges, as is customary for prints printed personally by Marsh). Printed in black on an ivory laid paper. Reference: Sasowsky 99, sixth state (of 6); an estimate of about 50-60 impressions printed (surely an exaggerated estimate). 6 7/8 x 9 3/4, the sheet 8 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches, archival matting.

Provenance:

Downtown Gallery, with their stamp verso, and stamp dated Nov. 12, 1931.

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Crossett, with their stamp verso (not yet in Lugt). A substantial part of Crossett’s distinguished and large print collection is now part of theMead Museum collection at Amherst College.

A fine rich impression of this iconic Marsh image.

One would suppose thatthe girls onthis merry-go-round should be amused; after all this is just a rideat an amusement park (presumably Coney Island, in New York City). But in fact they’re terrified – the horses are wild, ferocious beasts, and then there’s that frightening creep on the horse towardthe right. Perhaps Marsh is making a social statement (as well as a wonderful aesthetic one), hereat the dawn of the Great Depression.

By this stage in his career Marsh was routinely eliminating the ground from his compositions, and heightening their impact by directly confronting the viewer with the action at eye level. The merry-go-round motif became a favorite for Marsh, and he returned to it a number of times in the late ’30’s and early ’40’s, both in etching and painting.

Merry-Go-Round was one of the plates selectedby the Whitney Museum for re-printing in a Whitney-stampededition of 100 long after Marsh’s death, as part of a fund-raising effort; these lifeless re-strikes fail to capturethe vitality and richness of the lifetime impressions.

Bachelor’s Fare

Monday, October 24th, 2016

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Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Bachelor’s Fare, engraving, 1916-1920, signed lower left, numbered lower right and inscribed “imp” in pencil. Reference: S. Laboureur 169, third state (of 3), from the total printing of 38 in all states. In excellent condition, the full sheet printed on a laid paper with a Horn in Shield watermark; 6 1/4 x 5, the sheet 9 x 7 inches.

A fine crisp impression of this early cubist-influenced engraving.

An illustration for this print was done as early as 1914; the print may have been started around 1916 and, as with so many of the war-time Laboureur prints, engraved in it’s definitive state and printed later, probably 1920.

Au Balcon

Friday, October 21st, 2016

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Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Au Balcon, engraving, 1917-1919, signed in pencil bottom left, numbered (8/35) and inscribed imp bottom right, titled bottom left margin. Laboureur 181, third state (of 3), from the total printing in all states of about 45. In good condition (browning at bottom edge), with margins, 7 3/4 x 4 7/8, the sheet 11 1/4 x 8 3/8 inches.

A fine impression.

One of Laboureur’s iconic images, the aesthetic structure to be reprised a few years later in Le Balcon sur la Mer (1923).

The dating of this print, like a number of the prints interrupted by the War, is unclear; the date shown in the print itself (1918) may be when the print was engraved; prints of the later states may have been printed a year or so later, with the final state printing in late 1920.

 

Coney Island-1935, Etching

Monday, September 26th, 2016

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Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)

Coney Island1935, Etching.

Johnson and Miller 81. Edition 50. Signed in pencil. Annotated Edition of 50 1935 in pencil, in the artists hand, bottom left margin.

Image size 9 1/8 x 10 3/16 inches (232 x 257 mm); Sheet size 11 1/4 x 13 1/8 inches (279 x 400 mm).

A superb, richly-inked impression, on cream laid paper, with full margins (1 to 1 1/2 inches), in excellent condition.

After the 1934 painting of the same title in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Reproduced and exhibited: The American Scene on Paper; Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, 2008.

Collections: de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, RISD Museum.

Little Penthouse

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Lewis-LittlePenthouseBigMartin Lewis (1881-1962), Little Penthouse, drypoint, 1931, signed in pencil lower right [signed in the plate in a rectangle lower left]. Reference: McCarron 91, only state. Printed for inclusion in the Deluxe Edition of American Etchers Volume XI (Martin Lewis) by the Crafton Collection, NY, and distributed by P&D Colnaghi in London in 1931. The total number of recorded impressions is 84. In fine condition, withfull margins, 9 7/8 x 6 13/16 inches, the sheet 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

A fine glowing impression, printed on a cream laid paper.

Martin Lewis was born in Victoria Australia, and in his late teens moved to Sydney, where he received his only formal art training. In 1900 he came to the US, first to San Francisco, but eventually to New York, where he worked as a commercial artist and etcher (and became friends with Edward Hopper, among other artists). In 1920 he traveled to Japan, where he studied art for two years; the influence of his Japanese experience can perhaps be felt in thequiet dignity, and stately composition,of Little Penthouse.

Whistler Portrait No. 7 (Six Faces of Whistler)

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

 

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Mortimer Menpes (1855-1938), Whistler Portrait No. 7 (Six Faces of Whistler), drypoint, 1902-3, signed in pencil and inscribed “imp” bottom right margin. Reference: Morgan 237. Watermark: No. 1 in a diamond. The matrix in good condition, with very wide margins (defects in margins including folds, loss upper right, light mat stains, creases, other defects), 7 3/8 x 5 3/8, the sheet 16 x 10 inches.

A brilliant impression of this iconic print, with much drypoint burr.

Provenance:

A private collection (USA)

David Tunick, Inc., New York

Menpes,a Whistler a pupil and studio assistant in the 1880’s, made a series of eight studies of Whistler which were published in 1904 shortly after Whistler’s death. In addition to the six portraits of Whistler in our impression, Menpes also depicts a portrait of his three year old daughter – Dorothy Whistler Menpes – in the upper right.

 

 

 

 

Venus, 1859

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

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James Whistler (1834-1903), Venus, 1859.Etching and drypoint, printed in black ink on laid paper, an impression in the second (final) state: there was no published edition. 6 x 9 inches (15 x 22.6 cm) sheet 73/8 x 117/8 inches (18.8 x 30.3 cm) Reference: Kennedy 59; Glasgow 60

A study of Hlose, Fumette, asleep in bed, her head pressed into the pillow and the bedclothes covering her lower legs. This is one of three portraits Whistler made of Fumette in 1859: one of the others shows her standing and in the third only her head and shoulders are depicted. Venus is a work in the Realist tradition, and may be compared with Courbets nudes of the same period. The artist may also have had in mind Rembrandts study of Antiope in his etching Jupiter and Antiope.

Venus was never published and there is no record of it being shown until 1898 when it was included in an Exhibition of Etchings, Drypoints and Lithographs by Whistler at H. Wunderlich & Co., New York. To have been overlooked for exhibition until so late in Whistlers life might suggest that the subject was considered improper. Frederick Wedmore, whose catalogue of Whistlers etchings was published in 1886, certainly disapproved of the image and described it as the nude seen by Mr Whistler with rather common eyes, for once an animal, whom sleep has overcome.

Penny Passengers, Limehouse

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

 

Penny Passengers, Limehouse, 1860, 32162

James Whistler (1834-1903), Penny Passengers, Limehouse, 1860. Etching and drypoint, signed in pencil with a butterfly and inscribed imp, printed in black ink on laid paper, trimmed at the platemark, leaving a signature tab, an impression in the second (final) state, one of only six recorded, 31/4 x 81/8 inches (8.2 x 20.7 cm)

Provenance: Otto Gerstenberg, stamp verso [Lugt 2785]

Reference: Kennedy 67; Glasgow 71

The buildings on the far bank of the Thames and the ship and their masts moored there show the distinctive draughtsmanship of the period 18591860 when Whistler worked in Limehouse and made an etching there which was published in the Thames Set. Penny Passengers, Limehouse is very rare, with only five impressions known, all but our impression in public collections. It shows in outline a group of passengers waiting for the ferry to cross the river. Whistler inscribed the impression from the Samuel P. Avery collection Thames Limehouse (now in the New York Public Library).

Melencolia I 1514

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

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Albrecht Drer

1471 Nuremberg 1528

Melencolia I 1514

engraving; 239 x 187 mm (9 3/8 x 7 5/16 inches), with wide margins

Bartsch 74, Meder 75 state IIb (of IIf); Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 71

Watermark: small jug (Meder 158)

A very fine impression, in excellent condition.

provenance:

library of the Magdalenenkirche, later university library, Wroc?aw (formerly Breslau) (Lugt 2371b)

C.G. Boerner, Neue Lagerliste 6, Dsseldorf 1952, no. 38

private collection, Germany

Among the dozens of interpretations of the elements of Melancholia are these insights – in his essay on Melencolia – by the eminent art historian Erwin Panofsky:

“Drer’s Melencholia is neither a miser nor a mental case but a thinking being in perplexity, her face overcast by a deep shadow, made more impressive by the startling white of the eyes. The wreath on her head is woven of water-ranunculus and watercress, both plants of a watery nature, to counteract the bad effects of “dryness” associated wth the melancholy humor. The mature and learned Melencholia typifies Theoretical Insight which thinks but cannot act. The ignorant infant, making meaningless scrawls on his slate and almost conveying blindness, typifies Practical Skill which acts but cannot think.”

Chrysler Building (Chrysler Building in Construction)

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

 

 

Cook-Chrysler

 

 

Howard Cook (1901-1980),Chrysler Building (Chrysler Building in Construction)-1930, Wood Engraving.

Duffy 122. Edition 75, only 50 printed. 1931, signedin pencil, annotated “imp” and dated; printed by the artist

Image size 10 1/16 x 6 11/16 inches (256 x 170 mm); sheet size 11 7/8 x 9 inches (302 x 229 mm).

A superb, black impression, on thin cream wove Japan paper, in excellent condition.

By the early 1930s, Cooks prints of New York, especially its skyscrapers and bridges, were widely known and often reproduced in such magazines as Harpers and The Atlantic Monthly. The first solo exhibition of his prints was held in 1929 at the Weyhe Gallery in New York.

While Cooks lithographs of New York were made in collaboration with the printer George Miller, he insisted on printing his woodcuts and etchings himself. Cook lived in New Mexico for much of his life, and only took up residence in New York for varying periods between 1930 and 1938; nonetheless, he remains most renowned for the prints he produced of what he described as the endearing serrated skyline of the most exciting modern city in the world.

Here Cook shows the Chrysler Building before the addition of its famous art deco crown. For a brief period after it was finished and before the completion of the Empire State Building in 1931, it was the tallest building in the world. Cooks perspective of the illuminated building, seen from below, enhances a sense of its looming monumentality; this is further reinforced by the dark geometric forms of the smaller surrounding buildings.

 

Rainy Day, Queens

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

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Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Rainy Day, Queens, drypoint, 1931, signed in pencil lower right [also signed in the plate lower right]. Reference: McCarron 94, only state, from the edition of about 70. In very good condition, 10 5/8 x 11 7/8, the sheet 13 1/2 x 15 7/8 inches.

Provenance:

Estate of Edward G Kennedy (?) (with stamped initials EGK verso, cf. Lugt 857)

A fine rich impression of this iconic image, printed in black ink on an ivory laid paper.

Lewis described this location as “Skillman Ave. Queens”; it is probably at the intersection of Skillman Avenue and 49th Street.

Martin Lewis was interested in Japanese art early in his career, and in 1920 visited Japan, where he stayed for nearly two years. Rainy Day, Queens owes much to this influence: the careful placement of compositional elements, for example, and the atmospheric effects of rain, frequently found in Japanese prints and in Lewis’s Japan-based prints (e.g., Fishing Boats in the Rain, M. 41, and Showers on the Bay, M. 46).

Jeune Fille de Rosporden, c. 1890

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

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Emile-Alfred Dezaunay (1854-1938)

Jeune Fille de Rosporden, c. 1890

etching and aquatint printed in color on cream-colored laid ARCHES paper; Reference: Morane 66.

plate: 278 x 199 mm (11 x 7 7/8 inches)

numbered 2/50 and signed in pencil

Timbre sec : Ed. Sagot diteur (L. 2254).

Sails

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

 

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Sybil Andrews (1898-1992), Sails, linocut in colors, 1960, signed (twice), titled, and inscribed “TP” in pencil. Reference: White 50. In good condition, two sheets, each image 7 1/8 x 9, each sheet 10 5/8 x 11 inches.

Consisting of two sheets, unattached, each with the entire image, and placed one atop the other. The bottom sheet: signed in pencil twice and inscribed “TP”; the top sheet annotated “sample printing”. Each sheet printed on tissue-thin laid Japan.

A brilliant vividly colored presentation, as achieved through the juxtapositioning of two proof impressions of this print, presumably by the artist. As typical for Andrews’ impressions, the printing is on an exceedingly thin Japan paper. The top proof impression is comparable to the definitive edition, with the colors true and fresh. But the colors are strengthened even further when the proof is juxtaposed on the bottom (signed) proof, which is itself a slightly more lightly colored version of the print. Together, the print(s) achieve a striking, even three dimensional effect.

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Andrews Sails – bottom sheet (signed twice, inscribed “TP”)

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Andrews Sails – top sheet (inscribed “sample printing”)

Rue, le soir, sous la pluie Rainy Street at Evening 189599

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

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Pierre Bonnard

1867 Fontenay-aux-Roses Le Cannet 1947

Rue, le soir, sous la pluie Rainy Street at Evening 189599

lithograph printed in five colors on thin wove paper; 255 x 350 mm (10 1/8 x 14 inches)

signed and numbered in pencil at lower right no 95

Roger-Marx 66; Bouvet 68; Johnson 10.10

provenance

Emile Laffon, Paris (Lugt 877a)

This print is from Bonnards album Quelques Aspects de la vie de Paris, published by Ambroise Vollard and printed by Auguste Clot in an edition of 100. Although the date given on the cover is 1895, Johnson concludes that since the whole set was not exhibited until 1899 and a sketch for one of the plates (Place, le soir, Bouvet 64) is dated 1899, the album was not completed and published until 1899.

James McNeil Whistler Prints: An Exhibit in London and New York

Friday, April 8th, 2016

St. Germain-Des-Pres, Paris

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

 

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John Marin (1870-1953),St. Germain-Des-Pres, Paris, etching, 1906. Signed in pencil lower right and titled lower left [also signed and dated in the plate]. Zigrosser 47, only state, from the edition estimated by Zigrosser of about 25. Printed on wove Japan paper, with wide margins, a deckle edge at top, in very good condition (paper loss lower right corner, paper crease lower left margin), 8 x 5 5/8, the sheet 13 x 9 inches.

A fine impression, printed with plate tone.

Marin lived and worked in Europe from late 1905 to 1909, mostly in Paris but also in Venice, Rouen, Amsterdam, London. Although he was familiar with Meryon, his etchings were more impressionistic and “loose”; many see similarities with the etchings of Whistler, and Marin was surely aware of and influenced by Whistler. But, according to Zigrosser, in contrast to Whistler, Marin’s lines were “nervous and passionate and occasionally too roving and restless to be realistically convincing.” One can see hints in Marin’s architectural renderings such as St. Germain-Des-Pres of the beginnings of an evolution toward modernism, which blossomed only a few years later.

Rotherhithe

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

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James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Rotherhithe, etching and drypoint, 1860 [signed and dated in the plate lower left]. Reference: Kennedy 66, third state (of 3), Glasgow 70, sixth state (of 6). Published, in the definitive state, as part of the Thames Set. In very good condition, with margins, 10 7/8 x 7 7/8, the sheet 13 x 9 7/8 inches.

A fine impression, printed in brownish/black ink on a cream laid paper with the watermark KF.

Rotherhithe is the area opposite Wapping on the banks of the Thames. The site of the image is the Angel, an inn in Bermondsey, very near Rotherhithe. Although Tower Bridge dominates the view up-river from the narrow balcony, in the distance St Paul’s Cathedral is visible beyond the bend of the river.

Rotherhithe is one of Whistler’s most iconic early images; it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1862, and then was titled Wapping in its later 1871 publication as part of the Thames Set (a series of 16 etchings). The copper plate is in the Freer Gallery of Art.

Martin Lewis: A Collection

Friday, November 27th, 2015
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Martin Lewis – Shadow Dance

We can offer a large collection of over 100 Martin Lewis prints and drawings, to be sold “en bloc.” The collection includes all the iconic and best known printsas well asmany great rarities, a number of drawings, and a sampling of canceled plates. Inquiries are welcome; by e mail at hschrank@nyc.rr.com, or by phone at 212 662 1234.

To view the collection please tap this link: VIEW PDF

Shadows, Garage at Night

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

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Martin Lewis (1881-1962, Shadows, Garage at Night, drypoint, 1928, signed in pencil lower right[also signed in the plate lower right].Reference: McCarron 69, only state, from the total printing of 49. In excellent condition, the full sheet, 9 7/8 x 11 7/8, the sheet 12 3/4 x 15 inches.

A very fine impression, printed in black ink on a cream wove paper.

A”noir”rural scene, presumably from the Danbury, Connecticut area, with the focus on cars, and shadows.

 

Black Magic

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

 

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Gerald Geerlings (1897-1998), Black Magic, etching and aquatint, 1929, signed in pencil lower right, titled and annotated (New York, 1928) lower left margin. Reference: Czestochowski 6, fourth state (of 4), from the edition of 100. In excellent condition, with full margins (slight rippling at outer margin edges), 11 3/4 x 6 1/2, the sheet 17 x 12 1/4 inches.

A fine glowing impression, printed on a greenish laid paper with the watermark TG Head & Co.

According to the web site of the Philadelphia Museum of Art this etching and aquatint portrays the Warwick Hotel(on West 54th Street and 6th Avenue, in New York),completed in 1927. Perhaps not.

Riders of the Apocalypse

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Spruance-RidersApocalypseBig

Benton Spruance (1904-1967

Riders of the Apocalypse 1943, Lithograph.

Fine and Looney 222. Edition 35. Signed, dated, titled and annotated Ed 35 in pencil. Initialed in the stone, lower left.

Image size 12 11/16 x 16 3/8 inches (322 x 416 mm); sheet size 15 5/8 x 19 1/4 inches (397 x 489 mm).

A superb impression, on off-white wove paper, with full margins (1 1/4 to 1 5/8 inches); in excellent condition. Printed by Cuno.

Exhibited and Reproduced: The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock, Stephen Coppel, The British Museum, 2008, catalog p. 205.

Collections: British Museum; Free Library of Philadelphia; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

The Gate, Chelsea

Monday, November 16th, 2015

 

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Theodore Roussel (1847-1926), The Gate, Chelsea; etching and drypoint, 1889-1890, signed on the tab and inscribed imp [also signed in the plate lowere right]. Reference: Hausberg 33, fourth state (of 4), from the total printing of about 43 impressions. In excellent condition, trimmed by the artist all around on the plate mark except for the tab, 8 1/8 x 6 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a light cream wove paper with plate tone (wiped to brighten the gate and doorway area) and substantial burr in the drypoint work.

According to Hausberg, “The gate and house behind it still stand today at No. 4 Cheyne Walk. It is located in a row of the oldest and most elegant buildings on Cheyne Walk – the segment that has changed the least since Roussel’s time.

 

Four Evangelists

Friday, November 13th, 2015

 

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Hans Sebald Beham (1500-1550), Four Evangelists, engravings (4), 1541 [initialed, titled and numbered in the plates]. References: Bartsch 55-58, Pauli, Hollstein 57-60; 57 and 58 3rd state, 59 and 60 fifth state (of 5), In excellent condition, each plate trimmed along or just outside of the borderline, 1 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches.

Fine rich impressions.

 

Sebald Beham was born in Nuremberg in 1500. In 1525 he and his brother Barthold, together with Georg Pencz, were thrown out of Nuremberg following an investigation into their agnosticism, but they returned the next year. Sebald continued to get into trouble: he was expelled again for publishing an essay on the proportions of the horse which was taken from Durer’s unpublished Art of Measurement.

Note: photos of St. Mark and St. Matthew available on request.

 

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The Avon on the Road to Bexhill

Friday, November 13th, 2015

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Theodore Roussel (1847-1926), The Avon on the Road to Bexhill, drypoint, 1919, signed in pencil and dated (15.7.19) lower left [also signed in the plate]. Reference: Hausberg 115, fourth state (of 4), from the total printing of about 22 impressions, about 12 in this state. In excellent condition, printed on a very thin laid Japon with margins, 4 1/2 x 5 7/8, the sheet 6 x 7 3/4 inches.

A very fine impression with substantial burr from the drypoint work.

According to Hausberg “Bexhill lies just west of St. Leonards-on-Sea, where Roussel lived from 1914. The River Avon does not flow near the area, so the Avon of the title may be a satirical reference to the tiny rivulet pictured in the print or a misidentification by the artist.”

 

 

L’le Lacroix, Rouen

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

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Camille Pissarro (1830-1903),L’le Lacroix, Rouen, etching, aquatint, maniere grise, drypoint, burnishing,c. 1887. Signed and numbered (No. 1) in pencil lower left, annotated 1er t?t lower right. Delteil 69, second state (of 2). In very good condition, with full margins (traces of foxing), 4 1/2 x 6 1/4, the sheet 10 3/4 x 13 inches.

A fine impression of this great rarity.

Delteil notes that only a few impressions were made of the first state, and eight impressions of the second.

Although Pissarro himself notes that this is an example of the first state, Delteil shows that in the second state Pissarro burnished thetrees and hills at the left, and the water in the lower left corner, as in our example. This would not, of course, be the first known instance in which Pissarro mis-stated the state of the print in his pencil notations.

A related drawing for this composition is at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The plate was cancelled after an edition of posthumous impressions was printed in 1907; they are not, of course, comparable in quality to the rare lifetime impressions, such as the present example.

Coat of Arms with Lion and a Cock

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

durercocklion

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Coat of Arms with Lion and a Cock, engraving, c. 1502-3, 7 5/16 x 4 5/8 inches. With the monogram; no date, with border lines. Meder 97, Hollstein 97. In excellent condition, trimmed outside of the borderline all around.

Provenance:

Sir Philip Burne-Jones (not in Lugt, pencil inscription verso)

Thomas Miller Whitehead (his ink stamp verso, Lugt 2449)

Colnaghi, London (with their stock number C 23526 verso)

A fineMeder aimpression, with the small horizontal scratches lower left as called for by Meder for the a impressions.

The heraldic symbols in this coat of arms are not associated with any specific aristocratic family; indeed, the elevation of the rooster, a common barnyard bird, perched commandingly with outspread wings at the top of the sheet, well above the stylized lion trapped on its heraldic shield, might be seen as a very conscious subversion of aristocratic pretentions. This carnivalesque inversion of social convention is also evident in Drer’s related adopiton of coats of arms and other aristocratic imagery by thre emergin middle classes, including artisans, from the late Middle Ages. In Coat of Arms with a Lion and a Cock the lavish scrollwork twisting behind the shield, with elaborate shading creating almost three-dimensional effects, reminds us that the artist originally trained as a goldsmith, the craft in which the tradition of pure ornamential engraving on metal is thought to have originated. (I am indebted to Catherine Bindman for these insightful notes – HS.)

 

 

The Doorway

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

James Whistler – The Doorway

James Whistler (1834-1903), The Doorway, drypoint, etching and roulette, 1879-80, signed with the butterfly on the tab and inscribed “imp”. Reference: Kennedy 188, seventh state (of 7); Glasgow 193, twenty (of 20). From the First Venice Set. In very good condition, trimmed by the artist around the plate mark except for the tab, printed on a simile Japon paper, 11 1/2 x 8 inches.

Provenance:

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock number in pencil on verso C. 335)

A very fine impression, printed in brown ink.

The passageway at the center of the architectural framing device is still partly open and a window allows some light to come in from behind into the darkened interior of the Pallazzo Gussoni on the Rio de la Fava. The rhythm of the windows, further accentuated by the changing of the orientation of the ironwork, makes the ornate architecture the manifest subject of this print.

This is Whistler print is most dramatically and fully conceived after a number of earlier states. The girl at the center of the composition, in the doorway, was re-worked progressively in the early states, but probably never completely resolved to the satisfaction of the artist, as suggested by his completely burnishing out the figure in Glasgow’s 17th state. He then re-drew the figure entirely, in drypoint, making her a bit smaller, with her features now rather clear and holding a thin cloth (as in the earliest states) in the water. In previous states Whistler left the area below the doorway relatively clear of etching or drypoint, allowing a space for plate tone and various wiping effects. In this late state he drew in dense networks of overlapping drypoint lines to dramatize the shadows of the doorway and the motions of the water on the canal; this technique presages the use of drypoint in the Amsterdam plates (see, for example, Pierrot, K. 407). The dramatic movement of the water thus contrasts with the stillness of the architecture, making this one of Whistler’s most engaging and fully realized compositions.

The Doorway – Detail

Self-Portrait in a Cap, wide-eyed and open-mouthed 1630

Friday, October 9th, 2015

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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

Self-Portrait in a Cap, wide-eyed and open-mouthed 1630

etching and drypoint; 51 x 45 mm (2 x 1 3?4 inches)

Bartsch 320, White/Boon only state; Hind 32; The New Hollstein 69 second (final) state

provenance
Charles Delanglade, Marseille (Lugt 660)

A very good impression of this rare and much sought-after little print; in good condition with the platemark visible all round.

This is one of Rembrandts early self-portraits from his Leiden years between 1628 and 1631. More specifically, it is one of a small group of etchings dating to 1630 in which he used his own image to experiment with various facial expressions that might serve as models for his work and that of his pupils. In these tiny prints, many little bigger than postage stamps, the artists features undergo many transformations as he explores a range of expressions. In this case, he wears a beret and his eyes, mouth, and the contours of his face are rounded in apparent wonder or surprise. Three other etchings of this date show the artist frowning (Bartsch 10); open-mouthed (Bartsch 13); and laughing (Bartsch 316). The inventiveness and variety of Rembrandts self-portraits (as well as his obsession with making them) far exceeded that of his Dutch contemporaries. Indeed, Clifford Ackley observes that these quirky, personal etched self-portraits are without clear precedent in the history of self-portraiture, particularly in printmaking.

Shadow Magic

Friday, October 9th, 2015

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Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Shadow Magic, 1939, drypoint, signed in pencil lower right. Reference: McCarron 126, only state, 34 impressions recorded. In excellent condition, 13 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches.

An extraordinarily fine example of this rare drypoint, printed in black on a cream wove paper.

In a preparatory drawing in the Lucile Lewis (his wife) inventory Lewis quoted the first line of the Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) sonnet “Euclide alone has looked on beauty bare.” Here is that sonnet:

Euclide alone has looked on beauty bare.

Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,

And lay them prone upon the earth and cease

To ponder on themselves, the while they stare

At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere

In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese

Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release

From dusty bondage into luminous air.

O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,

When first the shaft into his vision shone

Of light anatomized! Euclid alone

Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they

Who, though once only and then but far away,

Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

 

Picador Caught By A Bull

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Francisco Goya (1746-1828), Picador Caught by a Bull, lithographic crayon and scraper, 1825. Harris 284, Delteil 287, from the edition of 100 [signed Goya in the plate lower left], printed by Gaulon, Bordeaux, from the set The Bulls of Bordeaux. In exceptionally fine condition, the matrix flawless, slight light stain, the full sheet (remains of prior hinging edges verso); 12 1/4 x 16 1/4, the sheet 15 1/2 x 20 1/8 inches.

A fine rich, black impression, printed on a cream wove paper.

Provenance: H.J. Thomas (Lugt 1378); estate of Albert Gordon. Lugt writes of Thomas: “Monsieur Henri Thomas ne fait pas l’uvre de tel ou tel matre, son but est que ses cartons offrent, en preuves exceptionnelles, un ensemble de ce que l’art de la gravure a produit de plus remarquable toutes les poques et dans toutes coles.

Goya was perhaps the first major artist to make use of the lithographic technique, in 1819 at the age of 73. His earliest experiments were with transfer lithography, using pen on transfer paper, but his “mature” work, after 1824, was done directly on the lithographic stone. He initially made five Bordeaux lithographic bulls, but discarded one of the lithographs after having taken a proof and, apparently, been dissatisfied with it.

In late 1825 Goya wrote to his friend Joaquin Ferrer, who was living in Paris at the time, sending an impression of the first of the Bulls (Corrida de novillos) and asking him if this and the other three bullfighting lithographs could be sold in Paris. Ferrer wrote that another edition of the Caprichos would have greater appeal. Goya responded “I understand and accept what you tell me about the prints of bulls but I rather had in mind that they should be seen by art connoisseurs who abound in that great court [Paris} and the great number of people who have seen them, not counting Spaniards, thought it would be easy [to sell them].” So Goya’s Bulls of Bordeaux did not appeal to the French taste of the period.

Goya wrote Ferrer that “I’ve no more sight, no hand, nor pen nor inkwell, I lack everything – all I’ve got left is will.” But with the creation of the Bulls of Bordeaux, Goya had produced one of the great monuments of printmaking.

Detail

The Artists Mother: Head Only, Full Face 1628

Friday, September 18th, 2015

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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

The Artists Mother: Head Only, Full Face 1628

etching; 63 x 66 mm (2 1/2 x 2 5/8 inches)

Bartsch 352, White/Boon second (final) state; Hind 2; The New Hollstein 6 second (final) state

This rare little plate is one of the earliest to be generally accepted as the work of Rembrandt. It is still experimental; the artist has not managed to get the tonal balance in the biting of the two states correct. The face, which was etched first and was never bitten deeply, is considerably paler than the hood, which was added later.

Further, the unusual composition makes the print look almost like a fragment; the head of the woman is oddly anchored slightly to the lower right of the image and points to Rembrandts early tendency to begin drawing with his etching needle without having a clear idea of the size or position of the intended image. In this case, although the first state (of which a unique impression survives in Amsterdam) shows that the artist used black chalk to develop a version that would have included part of the figures upper body, in the end, the artist cut away more than an inch of the plate just below her chin, reinforcing the idiosyncrasy of the portrait. Another print that Rembrandt made of his mother in etching and drypoint the same year (Bartsch 354) and in etching and engraving in ca. 1631 (Bartsch 343) demonstrate his rapid progress in a range of printmaking techniques.

Rembrandts mother provided a readily available female counterpoint to his own self-portraits. But his choice of her as subject matter also reflects a growing market at this time for images of old people, their time-worn faces providing a contrast to the long-established taste for comely young women. This aesthetic interest might also relate to the contemporary picturesque taste for such dilapidated old structures as ruins and humble farmhouses as well as peasants and beggars. The popularity of these motifs, frequently addressed by Rembrandt himself, might be explained in some cases by their familiarity, as well as by their freedom from complex or morally burdensome religious, historical, or literary themes.

Jacobs Ladder, an illustration to Piedra gloriosa 1655

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

 

rembrandtJacobsLadder

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

Jacobs Ladder, an illustration to Piedra gloriosa 1655etching and engraving with drypoint; 115 x 70 mm (4 1/2 x 2 13/16 inches)

Bartsch 36B, White/Boon third (final) state; Hind 284; The New Hollstein 288b third state (of four)

provenance

Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford, London and Packington Hall, Warwickshire (Lugt 58)

John Heywood Hawkings, London and Bignor Park, Sussex (Lugt 3022)

Walter Francis, 5th Duke of Buccleuch, London and Dalkeith, Scotland (Lugt 402)

Kennedy Galleries, New York (their stock no. in pencil on verso a12846)

John William Bender, Kansas City (Lugt 1555b)

A very fine, rich impression with deep burr, with the lower sides of the stepladder burnished in, and the whole dense lower area printed effectively with the utmost care; before the plate was reworked in drypoint.

Jacobs Dream is one of four etchings that Rembrandt composed on one plate, intended to be cut into four for use by the publisher as illustrations to a book by his friend, the rabbi, scholar, publisher, and diplomat Menasseh ben Israel (16041657). (The other images show The Statue of Nebuchadnezzar Overthrown; David and Goliath [B.36C]; and Daniels Vision [Bartsch 36A, C, and D respectively].) This work, written in Spanish and titled Piedra gloriosa de la estatua de Nebuchadnesar, was published in Amsterdam in 1655. It is a mystical tract in which a series of episodes from the Book of Daniel are seen to presage the coming of the Messiah. It also incorporates appeals for greater tolerance of the Jewish population. As Jan Piet Filedt Kok put it: The Jews of the 17th century were obsessed with the coming of the Messiah, which they looked forward to in the expectation that it would put an end to the misery and suffering of the Jewish people. In a time of persecutions in Portugal, Spain and Poland this was not to be wondered at.

Jacobs Dream shows the sleeping patriarch, his head resting on a stone, as he dreams of a ladder upon which angels ascend and descend to and from heaven. It was the only one of the four subjects in the illustrations that Rembrandt had treated previously.Menasseh understood the work to be an allegory of the fall of the enemies of Israel, writing in the text that you will see how three angels descend a staircase and another who is at the top and ascending, representing the fall of the three preceding monarchies and the escalation in which we experience the last (quoted in Michael Zell, Reframing Rembrandt: Jews and the Christian image in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam, Berkeley/Los Angeles/London 2002, p. 74).

The book with Rembrandts etchings survives in only five known copies. Other editions exist but these contain often crude engravings after Rembrandts original designs, sometimes with significant adjustments to the images. Current scholarship suggests that these are the work of the Jewish artist Salom Italia, who had made an engraved portrait of Menasseh in 1642. Rembrandts choice of etching and drypoint for book illustration, although reinforced by engraving, was somewhat unusual since they tend to deteriorate much more rapidly than engraving or woodcut, both of which are thus better suited to producing enough impressions for a book edition. It seems most likely, therefore, that Rembrandts etchings were replaced for practical reasons. In the first instance, however, Menasseh did entrust this politically and religiously complex project to Rembrandt, who was neither Jewish nor a professional illustrator. Furthermore, Rembrandts illustration of the text reflects an exceptional degree of cooperation. The alterations Rembrandt agreed to make, even if they involved compromising his aesthetic convictions, attest to an uncharacteristic willingness to revise his work to accommodate Menassehs directions Menasseh, moreover, always under financial pressures, which were particularly acute during this period, could hardly have afforded to pay the fee Rembrandt could command (ibid., pp. 84f.).

Given that a number of surviving individual impressions, like this one, exist outside the book, and that Rembrandt experimented with some of them on a range of different supports, including vellum and Japanese gampi paper, it seems clear that he used this commission to create highly idiosyncratic prints that could stand on their own. All of these prints, with their rich plate tone and selective wiping, are not accidental trial proofs but were clearly pulled by Rembrandt to satisfy the requirements of a highly sophisticated group of collectors. This is ultimately the reason for their survival, even though they count among the rarest and most sought-after of the masters prints.

Le Pont au Change

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

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Charles Meryon (1821-1868), Le Pont au Change, 1854, etching. Reference:Delteil/Wright 34 fifth state (of twelve), Schneiderman 40, fifth state (of 12) [with the signature, date and address in the plate in the margin below]. On old very fine and thin laid paper with a “Contribution Directes” watermark. In very goodcondition, with margins 6 1/8 x 13 1/8, the sheet 7 1/8 x 13 3/4 inches.

Provenance: J.H. Wrenn (with his stamp verso, Lugt 1475), and then by descent.

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock no. in pencil on the verso C27108)

Kennedy Galleries, New York (their stock no. in pencil on the verso a35112)

A extremely fine, richly printed atmospheric impression, in a brownish/black ink, printed personally by the artist, with a veil of plate tone, wiped selectively in places such as the wall and faces of the buildings at the right.

From a point of view at water level we can see the Pompe de Notre Dame (the old water pump) beyond the bridge, and the Palais de Justice and Tour de Horloge on the Isle de la Cite at the right. In the water a man, presumably drowning, reaches toward a boat, but those in the boat are turned in the other direction, looking toward the balloon marked Speranza (hope) in the sky. On the bridge a hearse and a parade of mourners walk toward the left, as a group of soldiers at the far left marches toward them.

Meryon made a few changes in the figures and clouds in the next state (the 6th), and removed the balloon in the seventh state; then, in 1859-60 he famously added a flock of huge birds to the sky – this was variously interpreted as the result of the influence of Poe (The Raven), or as evidence of Meryon’s continuing mental instability after his stay at the institution Clarenton; and of course there were other possibilities. Indeed, the meanings of the print in thisearlier state – the ironies of theconjunction of the balloon Speranza, the drowning man and those turning away from him, and the funereal procession, for example – havebeen the subject of much speculation as well.

It is however indisputable thatLe Pont au Change, particularly in this early state, is one of the most dramatic and beautiful ofMeryon’s compositions, and a great icon of mid-19th Century printmaking.

Costume Ball & Carnival of the Artists & Writers Dinner Club

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

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John Sloan (1871-1951)

Costume Ball & Carnival of the Artists & Writers Dinner Club 1933, Linocut.

Morse 277. No edition, printing unknown but assumed very small. Signed in pencil lower right, beneath the wolfs hand-like paw.

Image size 19 x 12 inches (483 x 305 mm); sheet size 19 x 12 1/2 inches (483 x 318 mm).

A fine impression, in dark brown ink, on the full sheet of heavy, cream wove paper. A reinforced crease in the top left corner; a minor nick in the bottom center sheet edge and a small loss in the bottom right sheet corner; slight yellowing to the sheet edges left and right, not affecting the image. otherwise in very good condition. The image printed to the sheet edges top and bottom, with small margins left and right; the sheet size (19 x 12 1/2 inches) is consistent with impressions in the collections of Library of Congress and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Very scarce; we find no record of this print appearing on the art market.

The poster copy reads: Costume Ball & Carnival of the Artists and Writers Dinner Club . Webster Hall . 119 E 11th St. Friday Eve. Dec. 15. Heywood Broun . Master of Ceremonies . Stage Stars . Nat Mattlin & Orchestra . Tickets $1.00 now $1.50 at the door . For Sale . Breevort and Algonquin Hotels.

Sloans poster advertises a decadent costume ball sponsored by the Artists & Writers Dinner Club, a group that provided regular dinners to needy people in the arts during the Depression. Since its founding in 1886, Webster Hall on the Lower East Side had become an established venue for social events, meetings, lectures, and dances, but soon became best known as a meeting place for left-wing political activist groups of all kinds. By the 1930s, it was nominated the Devils Playhouse, notorious for decadent parties and carnivals arranged by progressive groups like the editors of The Masses and the Liberal Club. Parties were inspired by the costume balls of Paris and given names like Pagan Romps and Art Model Frolicks; by then it had also become one of the places that homosexuals could openly hold their own celebrations and events. The burlesque figure dominating the image, with bared breasts, bloomers, and stockings merely hints at the decadence and debauchery that awaits the balls attendees.

Webster Hall has in fact continued its storied history to the present day as a venue for numerous recordings, concerts, and events. In 2008 the building was officially designated a New York City landmark, recognized for its significant role in the cultural development of New York City’s Greenwich Village.

 

 

 

A Street in Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Monday, August 10th, 2015

 

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Theodore Roussel (1847-1926), A Street in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, etching, soft ground etching, drypoint, 1912, signed in pencil on the tab and inscribed “imp” (printed by the artist) [also signed in the plate lower left]. Reference: Hausberg 102, third state (of 3), from group of about 30 impressions in this state, 37 overall;in excellent condition, trimmed by the artist outside of the platemark except for the signature tab, 4 x 2 3/4 inches.

A fine impression, printed with tone.

Roussel visited the Isle of Wight in the summer of 1912, filling two sketchbooks with drawings; based on the dating of the drawings and an early proof of “A Street in Ventnor” he probably made the etching from the sketches and memory after the summer trip.

Roussel was of course a Whistler student and acolyte, as evidenced by his approach toward printmaking as well as the reverential trimming of the impression and use of the signature tab. Roussel was born in Brittany, studied in Paris, but settled in Britain. A painter, he began printmaking at about the age of 40. Beyond his fame as one of the most talented of the Whistlerians, he also gained notoriety for inventing a series of printmaking techniques and approaches, including the invention of an inking method known as the “Roussel medium”, several color etchings, and occasional etching of frames and mounts. A Street of Ventnor is interesting insofar as Roussel appears to have used a soft ground technique to create an impressionistic portrait of the thoroughfare.

James McBey

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

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Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (1890-1978), James McBey, etching, 1931, signed in pencil lower right [also signed in the plate, in reverse, lower right just under the borderline, and titled just under the borderline lower left]. Fletcher 69, ninth state (of nine), from the edition of 111. In excellent condition, the full sheet, 7 1/2 x 10 1/2, the sheet 14 7/8 x 11 inches.

Provenance:

Kennedy Galleries, New York (with their stock number A55738

Unidentified collector (initials TW lower left margin recto, not in Lugt)

A fine impression, printed in black on a cream wove paper.

Gerald Leslie Brockhurst was one of the outstanding British artists of the early 20th Century, hugely popular in the 20s and early 30s. Today he is still renowned for his poignant images of young women and girls and several portraits of contemporaries, including this portrait of James McBey(1883-1959),one of the most distinguished of the Scottish and British Etchers.

 

Couple Beneath a Tree

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

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Elyse Ashe Lord (1900-1971), Couple Celestial Nymph I, c. 1930, color etching, soft ground, drypoint; signed lower right in pencil and numbered by the artist lower left. In very good condition, the full sheet, 11 3/4 x 12 1/4, the sheet 17 x 16 inches.

A fine impression, with strong colors and plate tone. Printed on a light laid ivory Japan paper.

Elyse Ashe Lord developed her unique artistic style exclusively around oriental subject matter. Her art was inspired by both Chinese art and various aspects of oriental culture. Although E.A.Lord never actually travelled to China, she used Chinese paintings, embroideries and wall hangings, together with objects from surrounding Eastern countries, as the sources for her images. The highly individual style which Elyse Lord created reflects both this source material and the influences of Art Deco and early 1920s fashion.

In particular, Elyse Lord is unusual in combining the technique of drypoint with woodcut colour printing. She uses the drypoint design almost as the Japanese would have used a key block in multiple block colour printing. The colours would then be added by over-printing the drypoint design using colour-inked wood blocks, precisely as displayed by this unique series of progressive proofs. Elyse Lord would always supervise the difficult process of printing her plates and blocks, in person. [I am indebted to Michael Campbell, of Campbell Fine Art, for these biographical notes on Lord.]

Approaching Storm

Friday, July 31st, 2015

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Grant Wood (1891-1942), Approaching Storm 1940, Lithograph.

Cole 16. Edition 250. Signed in pencil.

Image size 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches (225 x 302 mm); sheet size 10 3/4 x 14 1/4 inches (273 x 362 mm).

A superb, well-inked impression, on off-white wove paper, with margins (7/8 to 1 1/4 inches), in excellent condition.

The artist’s last print, published by Associated American Artists, 1940.

Reproduced: American Master Prints from the Betty and Douglas Duffy Collection, The Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, D.C., 1987.

Collections: Albrecht-Kempler Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Art Complex Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Metropolitan Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New Britian Museum of American Art, Phoenix Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Saint Louis Art Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, Springfield Museum of Art, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, University of Iowa Museum of Art Digital Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art.

 

Le Bourg de Batz

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

 

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William Strang (1859-1921), Le Bourg de Batz, etching and drypoint on copper, 1913, signedin pencil lower right [also signed and dated in the plate]. Reference: Binyon 654, only state, edition of 58. In very good condition, printed in black/brown ink on an ivory laid paper, with full margins, 16 3/4 x 13 3/4, the sheet 20 x 17 1/2 inches.

A fine strong impression of this large composition. Printed with a light veil of plate tone.

Le Bourg de Batz is a commune in western France; the town lies between the Bay of Biscay and its salt marshes, which Strang illustrates.The historic church of Saint-Gunol or Winwaloe (towards the left of the composition),largely dating from the 15th century, stands in the town centre.The church contains a 16th-century sculpture of the Madonna and Child,and its 17th-century belfryprovides a significant local landmark.Climbing to the top of the tower gives a good view over the salt marshes and the Le Croisic peninsula.

 

The New Baby

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

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Elyse Ashe Lord (1900-1971), The New Baby, c. 1930, color etching, drypoint; signed lower right in ink. In very good condition, 10 3/4 x 8 3/4, the sheet 11 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches.

A fine impression, with strong color and plate tone. Printed on a light laid ivory Japan paper.

The New Baby is something of a departure from Lord’s usual detailed and realistic renderings of Asian subjects. Here, the shapes are outlined in a nearly abstract idiom, and with only a few lines and colors Lord achieves a masterful composition, at once touching and aesthetically accomplished.

Elyse Ashe Lord developed her unique artistic style exclusively around oriental subject matter. Her art was inspired by both Chinese art and various aspects of oriental culture. Although E.A.Lord never actually travelled to China, she used Chinese paintings, embroideries and wall hangings, together with objects from surrounding Eastern countries, as the sources for her images. The highly individual style which Elyse Lord created reflects both this source material and the influences of Art Deco and early 1920s fashion.

In particular, Elyse Lord is unusual in combining the technique of drypoint with woodcut colour printing. She uses the drypoint design almost as the Japanese would have used a key block in multiple block colour printing. The colours would then be added by over-printing the drypoint design using colour-inked wood blocks, precisely as displayed by this unique series of progressive proofs. Elyse Lord would always supervise the difficult process of printing her plates and blocks, in person. [I am indebted to Michael Campbell, of Campbell Fine Art, for these biographical notes on Lord.]

 

Mother Earth

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

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William Strang (1859-1921), Mother Earth, 1897, etching, drypoint, aquatint (listed in Binyon as etching mezzotint); signed in pencil lower right, and signed by the printer David Strang and inscribed “imp” lower left. Reference: Binyon 312, 35 proofs. With the notation in pencil lower margin “406 (312) final state.” In excellent condition, with margins, 7 3/4 x 6, the sheet 10 1/8 x 7.

A fine impression, printed with carefully wiped plate tone, so that the figure of Mother Earth and children is stands out; much tone is left on the top and central hilly area, and a subtle veil of tone left on the houses and field toward the foreground.

Printed in a brownish/black ink on an ivory laid paper with the watermark Dickenson & Co. 1814.

 

J.H. Woods’ Fruit Shop, Chelsea

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

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James Whistler (1834-1903), J.H. Woods’ Fruit Shop, Chelsea, etching and drypoint, 1887-88. Signed with the butterfly on the tab and annotated “imp,” also signed with the butterfly in pencil verso and numbered “1”. References: Kennedy 265 second state (of 2), Glasgow 327 second state (of 4). Trimmed by the artist around the plate mark except for the tab, in excellent condition. Printed in black ink on ivory laid paper,3 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches.

A fine impression of this great rarity; the print was never published. Glasgow accounts for four impressions.

watermark:partial arms of Amsterdam(cf. Spink/Stratis/Tedeschi, watermark nos. 12ff.)

This is before the third state in which heavy shading was added around the woman at the center, and the heads of figures at right and left of the figure are defined. In Glasgow’s fourth state the shading and the figure were removed; no impression is known of this state, but the state is inferred from the cancelled plate.

According to Glasgow “Joseph Henry Wood had a greengrocer’s shop at 1 Park Walk (off the Fulham Road), Chelsea, London in 1887. By 1888 he was at 391 Fulham Road.” This is one of a number of Chelsea shop fronts etched by Whistler.

 

Celestial Nymph I

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

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Elyse Ashe Lord (1900-1971), Celestial Nymph I, c. 1930, color etching, soft ground, drypoint; signed lower right in pencil and numbered by the artist lower left. In very good condition, the full sheet, 8 1/4 x 10, the sheet 17 x 13 1/2 inches.

A fine impression, with strong color and plate tone on the nymph and surrounding decorations, and with pencil additions in various places on the nymph by the artist (using the same pencil as with signing). Printed on a light laid ivory Japan paper.

Provenance:

Kennedy Galleries, New York (with their stock number A 32064)

Elyse Ashe Lord developed her unique artistic style exclusively around oriental subject matter. Her art was inspired by both Chinese art and various aspects of oriental culture. Although E.A.Lord never actually travelled to China, she used Chinese paintings, embroideries and wall hangings, together with objects from surrounding Eastern countries, as the sources for her images. The highly individual style which Elyse Lord created reflects both this source material and the influences of Art Deco and early 1920s fashion.

In particular, Elyse Lord is unusual in combining the technique of drypoint with woodcut colour printing. She uses the drypoint design almost as the Japanese would have used a key block in multiple block colour printing. The colours would then be added by over-printing the drypoint design using colour-inked wood blocks, precisely as displayed by this unique series of progressive proofs. Elyse Lord would always supervise the difficult process of printing her plates and blocks, in person. [I am indebted to Michael Campbell, of Campbell Fine Art, for these biographical notes on Lord.]

Sudarium Held by Two Angels

Friday, July 24th, 2015

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Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Sudarium Held by Two Angels, engraving, 1513 [with the monogram and date on a tablet]. References: Bartsch 25, Meder 26, Strauss 69. In very good condition, trimmed on the platemark all around (a fold(s) visible verso, some slight thin spots verso). On a laid paper without visible watermark (Meder indicates no watermark on Meder a-c impressions). 4 x 5 l1/2 inches.

Provenance:

NATIONALMUSEUM , Cabinet des Estampes, Stockholm (with their “doublett” stamp verso, Lugt 1935).The Nationalmuseum (Stockholm) had a substantial collection of Durer prints; duplicate examples were sold in auctions in Stockholm in 1903 and 1904.

A very good Meder b/c impression, with the scratch in the drapery at the left still visible; but before the scratch from the elbow to the drapery at the right.

ON RESERVE

J.H. Woods’ Fruit Shop, Chelsea, first state

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

 

 

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James Whistler (1834-1903), J.H. Woods’ Fruit Shop, Chelsea, etching and drypoint, 1887-88. Signed with the butterfly on the tab and annotated “imp,” also titled by the artist in pencil verso. References: Kennedy 265 first state (of 2), Glasgow 327firststate (of 4). Trimmed by the artist around the plate mark except for the tab, in excellent condition. Printed in dark brown ink on laid paper,3 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches.

A fine impression of this great rarity; the print was never published:Glasgow accounts for only a few impressions, and none of the first state (known only through an illustration in Kennedy).

Provenance:

J. H. WRENN(1841-1911), agent de change, Chicago. Estampes. (his stamp, on each of the two hinges verso, Lugt 1475.

This is before the second state in which short fine drypoint lines are added on the lower part of the window-panes at left along with more shading around the woman in the centre. In the third state much new etched shading is added around the woman in the centre. In Glasgow’s fourth state the shading and the figure were removed; no impression is known of this state, but the state is inferred from the cancelled plate.

According to Glasgow “Joseph Henry Wood had a greengrocer’s shop at 1 Park Walk (off the Fulham Road), Chelsea, London in 1887. By 1888 he was at 391 Fulham Road.” This is one of a number of Chelsea shop fronts etched by Whistler.

 

Lobster Pots – Selsea Bill

Friday, July 17th, 2015

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James Whistler (1834-1903), Lobster Pots- Selsea Bill,etching and drypoint, 1880-1, signed with the butterfly on the tab and inscribed “imp.” [also signed with the butterfly in the plate, and titled Selsea Bill, lower right]. Reference: Kennedy 235, Glasgow 241, fourth state (of 4). From the Twenty-Six Etchings (the Second Venice Set).In excellent condition, printed on a laid paper with a partial Strasbourg Lily watermark. 4 3/4 x 8 inches.

Provenance:

Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (his stamp verso, Lugt 394

Henry Harper Benedict (his stamp verso, Lugt 1298)

Charles C. Cunningham (his stamp verso, Lugt 4684)

A very fine impression, printed in a brown ink with plate tone over all; wiped selectively so that the foreground is a shade darker.

The plate was first exhibited at The Fine Art Society in London in 1883. In 1886 it was published as part of A Set of Twenty-Six Etchings, the so-called Second Venice Set, by Messrs. Dowdeswell and Thibaudeau.

The etched inscription at lower right locates the scene in Selsea Bill, a small town on the south coast of England where Whistler was visiting Charles Augustus Howell. There is a wistfulness in this slight composition, suggesting that the print was made right after Whistlers return from his first trip to Venice. However, as Robert Getscher aptly remarks, even the Venetian subjects are never this inconsequential. To our modern eyes, however, this makes the print all the more intriguing. Lobster-Pots is one of Whistlers freest linear exercises: clusters of parallel stripes countered by aureoles of radiant hatching. Walter Sickert would soon afterwards move similarly close to pure abstraction in some of his beach-related etchings like Scheveningen, Bathing Machines of 1887 (Bromberg 95) and, especially, the small Scheveningen, Wind-Chairs and Shadows of the same year (Bromberg 91).

 

Kristiania Boheme I (or Kristiania Bohemians I; Drinking Session/Drinking Bohemians)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) Kristiania Boheme I (or Kristiania Bohemians I; Drinking Session/Drinking Bohemians), etching, drypoint and burnishing, 1895, signed in pencil lower right, also signed by the printer Felsing lower left. References: Willoch 9, Schiefler 10, Woll 15, third state (of 3). Kristiania Bohme I was included in the Meier-Graefe Portfolio, a portfolio of intaglio prints by Munch, printed by the firm of Angerer in Berlin in an edition of 65; impressions printed by Otto Felsing (including some such as this impression signed by him, were printed outside of the portfolio). In excellent condition, with full margins, 8 1/2 x 11 3/4, the sheet 15 5/8 x 21 1/4 inches.

A fine strong impression, printed in brown ink on an ivory wove paper.

The figures in the composition are probably a student named Holmsen at the right (with the hat); the writer Axel Maurer (1866-1925) in the center, and Munch himself in profile at the far left. Munch spent much of the 1880s with a group of young intellectual radicals, and often in these years he depicted himself and his friends as they discussed ideas, pursued women and wine in bars and cafs.

Oslo was called Kristiania (or Christiania) until 1925.

 

 

A Peaceful Sunday in the Woods (Repos du Dimanche dans le Bois)

Monday, July 13th, 2015

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Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), A Peaceful Sunday in the Woods (Repos du Dimanche dans le Bois), etching, aquatint and drypoint, 1891, signed in pencil lower right and inscribed by the artist “2e etat No.2 repos dans le bois” lower left. Reference: Delteil 99, third state (of three, but see discussion below). In good condition apart from a printer’s crease upper center(soiling as befits an artist’s proof, and a blue crayon mark verso);trimmed (presumably by the artist) just outside of the plate mark at right and left, with margins top and bottom. Printed on a brown laid paper, in a brownish/black ink. 6 3/4 x 11 3/8, the sheet 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches.

A fine atmospheric impression; in this impression a substantial layer of plate tone has been left on the plate, making it a night or late afternoon scene.

A spendid example of Pissarro’s impressionist aesthetic, as well as his idiosyncratic and personal approach to printmaking.

Only a few impressions of the first state are known, and only one impression of a second state in which some shading lines were added. A few impressions are known of a recently discovered intermediate state (2a), in which a few slanting lines were added below the peasant woman at the right. The third state (here referred to by Pissarro as a second state) is known in about 10 impressions. Each of these impressions is called 2e by the artist, and numbered. (A posthumous edition was printed in 18 proofs, each stamped and numbered); the perforated zinc plate was given to the New York Public Library.

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Pissarro – Repos – the full sheet

 

 

 

The Dance in the Inn

Monday, July 13th, 2015

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Adriaen Van Ostade (1610-1685), The Dance in the Inn, etching, c. 1652-54). Reference: Hollstein 49, Godefroy 49, sixth state (of 9). In very good condition (possible strengthening or repair upper edge, slight rippling or handing folds), with small margins, larger at bottom, 25.7 x 32.2 cm.

Provenance:

A. J. Lamme (1812-1900), Rotterdam (Lugt 138, stamp verso). Lamme was a painter, who founded the Musee Boymans in 1849 and stayed as founding director to 1870. The sale of his collection was held in Amsterdam in 1901; the collection was described by Lugt as “beaucoup d’estampes de l’ecole hollandaise..”

Watermark: Foolscap with seven pointed collar; Godefry’s watermark number 22. Godefry notes “toutes les epreuves sur lesquelles il figure sont de qualite honorable and imprimee avec soin” (all the proofs with this mark are fine and printed with care); he dates the mark as used in the period 1680-85, the latter part of Van Ostade’s life.

A fine, lifetime impression, noted by Godefry as rare in this state.

The eminent Ostade collector and scholar S. William Pelletier (who owned one fine impression of the Dance, also a sixth state), noted that this “print, the largest executed by Ostade and in many ways the most carefully executed of his entire graphic production, led Rouir to call it the artist’s “Hundred Guilder Piece”, a reference to Rembrandt’s most famous etching” (which was completed a few years earlier). The Dance is Ostade’s most complex print, and therefore has led scholars to various interpretations of the activities. For example Slatkes believed this print to be a wedding celebration. Stone-Ferrier suggested the leafy tree and branch on the floor are signs of an indoor May Day festival celebrating the transition from winter to spring. Whatever the interpretation, the composition is extraordinary.

This print is sold.

Nu couch

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Nu Couch 1929, etching in black on grey/tan Chine-coll on heavy cream wove with deckle edges all around, signed and numbered (17/25) in pencil lower right. Reference: Duthuit 194, only state, from the edition of 25. In very good condition, the full sheet (slight soiling toward edges, remains of prior hinging verso), 5 x 6, the sheet 11 1/8 x 14 5/8 inches.

Provenance:

Christie’s London, July 3, 2001. (Old Master, Modern, and Contemporary Prints)

A fine warm impression of this small-editioned print, not seen on the print auction market since 2001.

In his small edition etchings and drypoints Matisse displayed a mastery of draftsmanship unmatched in modernist printmaking. Nu Couch is a splendid example of Matisse’s genius.

Pierrot

Monday, June 1st, 2015

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James Whistler (1834-1903), Pierrot, 1889, etching, printed in brown on fine laid paper; trimmed to the platemark by the artist, signed with the butterfly and inscribedimp on the tab, also signed with the butterfly and inscribed verso [also with the butterfly in the plate, upper left]; Kennedy 407, fourth state (of five); Glasgow 450, sixth state (of eight) (cf. Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock, James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonn, University of Glasgow, 2011); Lochnan 408, 9 x 6 1/4 inches. Pierrot was never published, although it was clearly intended to be part of a (never published) Amsterdam Set. In very good condition.

Provenance:

James L. Claghorn (with [faint] stamp verso, Lugt 555c)

Also signed on the verso in pencil with the butterfly and inscribed “selected for [unclear but probably “Wunderlich”; several impressions were sent to Wunderlich, Whistler’s US dealer]

Also with initials RGO (?) in pencil, lower left verso (not identified in Lugt)

A very fine, evenly balanced impression, printing with subtle plate tone. Printed in a brownish/black ink on an ivory laid paper.

This state is before the small patches of shading were added below the windows to the left of the main doorway.

ApparentlyWhistler regarded Pierrot as his favorite among the Amsterdam plates. In a letter to Whistler Howard Mansfield, the famed collector, wrote: “The impression you showed me of “Pierrot” is so fine…that I feel that I must have it. The fact that it is your favorite among the Amsterdam plates makes me wish to possess it in its greatest beauty.”

The scene shows dyers on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam. Although titled Pierrot or The Pierrot, and this character from the 17th Century Italian Commedia Dell’arte was experiencing a revival of interest in the late 1800’s, there is nothing apparent in the composition to suggest the fictional character; the figures depicted are workers, the main one simply a young boy wearing an apron, the other a woman rinsing a cloth in the canal.

As in the other Amsterdam views, the dark, tonal areas are no longer created purely by selective wiping – although there is much such wiping evident in the print – but by the extraordinarily dense networks of overlapping lines.

 

The Little Mast

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

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James Whistler (1834-1903), The Little Mast, etching, drypoint and burnishing, 1879-80, signed in pencil with the early shaded butterfly lower left and annotated “imp”. References: Glasgow 196, Kennedy 185. Glasgow’s third state (of 8). From the Twelve Etchings, The First Venice Set. With margins, 10 5/8 x 7 1/2, the sheet 12 3/8 x 8 7/8 inches. In very good condition.

Provenance:

Charles C. Cunningham (with his stamp verso, Lugt 4684

James Lawrence Claghorn (with his stamp recto lower right, Lugt 555c)

Kennedy Galleries (with their stock number a94365 verso)

A very fine early proof impression, printed on a Chinese paper, with a light veil of plate tone heightened toward the bottom.

In the third state the figure in the middle just to the right of the buildings at the left is drawn in in drypoint; in the fourth state it is taken out. Also, in the third state an additional row of drypoint lines is added above the diagonal shading to the right of group of figures in the foreground; this additional row of drypoint does not appear in the second state. So we have deemed this a third state impression.

Early impressions of the secondand thirdstate, such as our example, were not trimmed, but signed in the margin with a large veined butterfly and ‘imp.’ to show that Whistler had printed them. Early proof impressions such as this one were delivered to the Fine Art Society in 1881; Whistler took many years to deliver additional impressions – as late as 1889 – in later states.

The Little Mast shows the view west down the broad Via Garibaldi to the Ponte de la Veneta Marina and the quayside, in the Castello area of the City of Venice, Italy. It was near the Public Gardens, and also near Whistler’s lodgings during the summer of 1880, at the Casa Jankowitz. This view, drawn accurately on the copper plate, is reversed, as usual, in the print. (source: Glasgow)

The Beggars

Friday, May 29th, 2015

 

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James Whistler (1834-1903), The Beggars, etching and drypoint, 1879-80, signed with the butterfly and inscribed “imp”. Reference: Glasgow 190, seventh state (of 17), Kennedy 194, fourth state (of 9), from the First Venice Set. In excellent condition (tiny nick bottom margin; remains of hinges verso), with margins, 121/8x 8 1/4 inches, the sheet 13 x 9 1/4 inches.

An exceedingly fine impression, printed on sturdy laid paper, with a Strasbourg Lily with a W watermark. With substantial plate tone especially towards the bottom of the composition, wiped carefully to highlight the figures at the end of the tunnel, and the figures in the forefront.

In this early impression Whistler has moved the lantern from the far left toward the middle of the composition; he has also configured the two figures in the foreground as an older woman and a young girl, and added shading to the butterfly at the upper left (but in the next state, he would burnish out the butterfly).

Whistler printed proofs of The Beggars both in Venice and London. He delivered five impressions to the Fine Art Society on 16 February 1881, thirteen on 6 April, four on 25 August, and six on 31 December. These would have been impressions of the first seven states – mostly signed in the margin with the large butterfly with shaded wings (cf. Glasgow). Our example is clearly one of these early impressions. The Fine Art Society begged Whistler to print the additional promised impressions over the succeeding years, up to about 1894 when the bulk of the edition was printed, in the last state.

 

 

 

St. James Place, Houndsditch

Friday, May 29th, 2015

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James Whistler (1834-1903), St. James Place, Houndsditch, 1887, etching and drypoint, signed with the butterfly on the tab and inscribed “imp”.[also with the butterfly in the plate, upper center]In very good condition, trimmed on the platemark except for the tab by the artist. References: Kennedy 290 (only state); Glasgow 255, second state (of 2). 82 x 178 mm, 3 3/16 x 6 7/8 inches.

Provenance:

R.M. Light and Co., Santa Barbara, California

Dr. H. Malcolm Hardy, Shawnee Mission, Kansas (not in Lugt)

A fine impression of this great rarity, with two tiny penciled circles verso (indicating that Whistler thought a this was a particularly distinctive impression).

Of greatest rarity. Margaret MacDonalds Glasgow catalogue accounts for merely eight known impressions, all of them in museum collections (to which our impression has to be added). The print is first recorded as sold by the artist in November 1887. The same year, it was exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists during Whistlers brief presidency. As Glasgow notes, Whistler must have thought highly of it, and sent it to an international exhibition in Brussels in the following year. The print was nevertheless never properly published since a Houndsditch Set that was planned by the artist remained unfinished. This ultimately accounts for the prints rarity.

During 188788, Whistler worked on a series of etchings of the East End of London. This is one of several prints in which he depicts some of the many small businesses then operating in Houndsditch, one of the Jewish quarters. His image of a busy street scene with modest shops, including that of M. and E. Levy (a fruit shop run by the brothers Moss and Eleazor Levy), was made at a significant moment in Londons Jewish history. From 188184 a new influxof Eastern European Jews had arrived in the city in the wake of a wave of pogroms after the assassination of Tsar Alexander II (for which they had been scapegoated). The new immigrants, typically desperately poor, settled in the East End in areas like Houndsditch, Whitechapel, and Spitalfields where there were already existing Jewish populations, and began to work in tailoring, cabinetmaking, shoemaking, and other crafts and trades. Around the corner from St. Jamess Place was the grand synagogue in Dukes Place, built in 1692, which had long been the principal place of worship for the citys well-to-do Ashkenazi Jews by the time Whistler made this print. (It was destroyed in a German air raid in 1942).

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Night in the Park

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

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Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Night in the Park, etching, drypoint, burnishing, 1921, signed in pencil lower right and titled and priced ($30.) in pencil by the artist lower left corner recto. References: Zigrosser 20, Levin (plate 80), only state. In good condition, slight mat toning well outside of the plate mark. 6 3/4 x 8 1/4, the sheet 11 1/2 x 15 inches.

Provenance: Whitney Studio Galleries, 10 West 8th Street, New York (with their label; later becoming the Whitney Museum)

Hirschl and Adler, New York (with label)

A fine black rich impression, with plate tone carefully wiped on the sidewalk and in front of the man, and on the lamp at the top; and with a fine layer of plate tone left in the night sky.

Generally described only as an etching, Night in the Park has a substantial amount of drypoint work as well, particularly evident in the pathway, the sky, and throughout the foliage. And too,there is much evidence of burnishing, again evident in the pathway. Some of Hopper’s most complex prints are known to have been created through a series of successive states or progress proofs; Night in the Park, although among his most complex prints, is known in only one state.

Hopper’s debt to Rembrandt, particularly the scenic etchings and drypoints such as his Three Trees, is obvious in Night in the Park.

Note: on reserve

 

Conversation

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

noldeconversationEmil Nolde (1867-1956), Unterhaltung (Conversation), etching, 1906, signed and dated in pencil lower right and also signed by the printer Otto Felsing lower left. Reference: Gustav Schiefler 37, fourth state (of 4). A proof apart from the edition of only 20 and”some proofs”(Schiefler says: “einige probedrucke”)of this state. In excellent condition, on a heavy laid handmade paper with the (partial) watermark “V”, the full sheet with deckle edges, 6 x 7 1/2, the sheet 21 1/2 x 15 inches.

A fine exceptionally fresh impression of thissuperb composition, printed in a rich dark blue/green ink.

According to Schiefler only 5 proofs were made of earlier states, andthe composition was essentially complete in the first state; the succeeding work consisted of brightening the tone of the sky, heightening the contrast of sky and sitters, and clarifying the imagery.

This is an early print for Nolde (he became an artist at a rather late age), and was made in the year things started to work for him – in 1906 he was invited to join the Brucke in Dresden, his painting Erntetag caused a sensation at the Berlin Secession in the spring,and he met some of his most important patrons including Schiefler. He made a good number of etchings in this period, from 1904 to 1911, then another group in 1918 an 1922; there are hardly any after 1926.

American Nocturne

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015


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Martin Lewis

1881 Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia New York 1962

American Nocturne 1937

lithograph on wove paper; 250 x 365 mm (9 7/8 x 14 3/8 inches)

signed by the artist in pencil at lower right

McCarron 125 only state

provenance

Armin Landeck (artist and friend of Lewis)

Paul McCarron, New York

A fine impression of this great rarity, printed on a cream-colored wove paper; in very good condition with full margins.

McCarron notes that there were 17 recorded impressions of American Nocturne. In his label for this print(appended to the mat)McCarron notes that according to Lewiss notebook only 814 impressions were made.

Lewis was born in Australia but immigrated to the United States in 1900, where he took on work as a commercial illustrator in New York. In 1915, he began to make etchings (and indeed, trained Edward Hopper in the technique). After a period in Japan between 1920 and 1921, Lewis returned to New York and began to produce drypoints inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints. From 1928 he began to make drypoints of New York City at different times of day and under different weather conditions. Kennedy Galleries offered him a solo show in 1929 and went on to publish 17 new prints by the artist over the next two years, a successful run that was only ended by the Depression; in 1932 Lewis retreated to Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

American Nocturne was made a year after Lewiss return to New York but nonetheless suggests a kind of nostalgia for the small-town life he had left behind. There is ultimately nothing really charming about the image, however. Indeed, the shadowy black-and-white scene, with its row of identical rooftops and the man leaning into the window of the luxurious car suggesting a slightly sinister narrative, evokes the highly stylized effects of the American film noirs of this period.

Swing Boats

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

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Claude Flight (1881-1955), Swing Boats, circa 1919-1921, color linoleum cut on very thin Japan paper, signed and numbered by the artist lower left. In very good condition, with the full colored margin outside of the borderline (with slight imperfections typical of these British futurist linoleum proofs, i.e., border edge somewhat rough-cut,small loss upper left corner, a printing fold toward the middle of the image, slight wrinkling upper right). The sheet 10 x 12 3/4 inches.

Provenance: The Redfern Gallery, 27 Old Bond Street, London (with their label affixed to the mat).

A fine impression, with the colors fresh and balanced. Printed in cobalt blue and crimson oil paint and black printing ink.

Although the stated edition of this print is 50, according to the numbering of the artist, the print appears only infrequently on the market, and in widely varying condition and appearance – some impressions are very dark, some too light, some rather lacking in balance. We feel the present impression represents an excellent example of the print in virtually all respects.

Flight was a leader of the British Futurist movement,and a teacher at the Grosvenor Schoolof Modern Art(his pupils included Lill Tschudi, Cyril Power, and Sybil Andrews). Flight regularly exhibited at The Redfern Gallery, as well as abroad.

A swing boat, colloquially known as a “shuggy boat” in the north east of England, is a fairground ride in which pairs of riders pull ropes to swing back and forth.Swing boats were one of the earliest fairground rides, common in the Victorian era.The boats were originally powered by hand, but steam-driven versions began to be introduced in the 1880s.Examples of Victorian-style manually-operated swing boats are still popular and are generally seen in traveling “period” fairs.

Sketch After Cecil Lawson’s “Swan and Iris”

Monday, May 11th, 2015

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James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903),Sketch After Cecil Lawson’s “Swan and Iris,” etching and drypoint, 1882. Reference: Glasgow 247, Kennedy 241. Glasgow’s 5th state (of 6). In very good condition, with the sewing holes at the right, printed on an antique laid paper with a Strasbourg Lily watermark. 5 1/4 x 3 1/4, the sheet 7 x 4 1/2 inches.

A very fine impression of this relatively rarely encountered sketch, printed in a grey/black ink with substantial burr from the drypoint work, and with a layering of plate tone.

Cecil Lawson (1851-1882) was a painter, the husband of an elder sister of Whistler’s eventual wife Beatrice. The etching is after an unfinished Lawson painting; it was used in the memoir of Lawson published by the Fine Art Society, in 1883.

This is fifth state (of 6), before the several diagonal lines and one short, almost horizontal line are added to the lower edge of the dark shading on the left side of the arch, and extend into the bevel on that edge. This impression is particularly fine insofar as the upper left arch, and the sails of the boats at the top, are darkened with a fine layer of plate tone, accentuating the burr of the drypoint.

This is not signed in the plate, although the iris itself is reminiscent of a variation of Whistler’s butterfly.

 

Yacht Races (Grand Lake, Colorado)

Friday, May 1st, 2015

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Arnold Ronnebeck (1890-1983)

Yacht Races (Grand Lake, Colorado)= 1933, Lithograph

Edition 25. Signed, titled and numbered in pencil.

Image size 13 1/4 x 9 1/8 inches (225 x 349 mm); sheet size 15 7/8 x 11 1/4 inches (292 x 406 mm).

A fine, rich impression, on cream wove paper, with full margins (1 to 1 1/2 inches), in excellent condition.

Collection: Smithsonian American Art Museum.

 

Montparnasse Street

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

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Montparnasse Street1931, Etching

Duffy 128. Edition 50, only 25 printed. Signed, dated, and annotated imp and 50 in pencil.

Image size 4 7/8 x 9 7/8 inches (124 x 251 mm); sheet size 7 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches (191 x 343 mm).

A fine, rich impression, on cream laid paper, with full margins (1 1/4 to 1 7/8 inch), in excellent condition. Printed by the artist. Scarce.

Collections: NMAA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, UNM.

At The Piano

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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Anders Zorn (1860-1920), At the Piano, etching, 1900, signed in pencil lower right. Reference: Asplund 160, Hjert and Hjert 108, second state (of 2), from the edition of 60-70. Printed on an ivory laid paper, in very good condition (some repaired tears, loss at bottom edge), 7 7/8 x 5 3/4, the sheet 14 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches.

A fine delicately printed impression.

The sitter is Mrs. Anna Burnett Hardin; the plate was made at the home of Charles Deering, an industrialist and patron of Zorn’s, in Evanston, Illinois. Two pencil drawings are in the Zornmusset and another in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Palazzo Dei Cammerlenghi, 1926

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

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Palazzo Dei Cammerlenghi 1926, Etching.

Edition 60, 20. Signed in ink. Numbered AI, indicating the first impression of the American edition of 20 [also signed and dated October 1925 in the plate lower right]. Reference: Hardie and Carter 231, only state (there were about 11 trial proofs, where slight changes were made, before the published first state).

Image size 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches (222 x 146 mm); sheet size 11 5/8 x 8 3/8 inches (295 x 213 mm).

A fine, rich impression in dark sepia ink with overall plate tone, wiped carefully to allow for a slightly darker tone in the water toward the bottom of the composition. With full margins (1 1/8 to 1 3/4 inches), on antique cream laid paper. Slight toning in the margins, otherwise in excellent condition.

This is the bend of the Grand Canal in Venice, seen from the Rialto.

Reproduced: Reflections & Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940, Eric Denker, Dickinson College, PA; 2012.

 

Vrit

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

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Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904),Vrit (petite planche), 1900, lithograph. Hediard-Mason 156, first state (of 3). A proof of the first state before the edition published in La Revue de l’Art Ancien et Moderne. In excellent condition, the full sheet, 7 3/8 x 5 1/2, the sheet 13 x 9 7/8 inches (matrix 190 x 137 mm.).

A fine proof impression, printed on a light chine volant.

In the published state lettering at the bottom margin gave the name of the artist, the title,publication, and printer (Clot).

Snow on the “El”

Friday, November 28th, 2014

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Martin Lewis ((1881-1962)

Snow on the El- 1931, Drypoint and Sand Ground

McCarron 95. Edition 49 (including 5 trial proofs). Signed in pencil. Signed in the plate, lower left.

Image size 14 x 9 inches (356 x 229 mm); sheet size 17 11/16 x 12 9/16 inches (449 x 319 mm).

An exceptionally fine, richly inked impression, with velvety burr throughout, on cream laid paper, with full margins (1 3/4 to 2 inches), in excellent condition.

The location depicted is Twenty-third Street and Sixth Avenue, New York City.By the mid-20th century, a coalition of commercial establishments and building owners along Sixth Avenue campaigned to have the El removed. The El was closed on December 4, 1938 and came down in stages, beginning in Greenwich Village in 193839; the 6th Avenue Subwayreplaced it a couple of years later.

Collections: Addison Gallery of American Art, British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Colby College Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell University).

 

Chelsea Children, Chelsea Embankment

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

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Theodore Roussel (1847-1927), Chelsea Children, Chelsea Embankment, etching, 1889, signed in pencil on the tab and inscribed “imp”[also signed in the plate].Reference: Hausberg 32, only state, from the total printing of about 30 impressions. Printed in a reddish brown ink on a thin laid paper. In very good condition, trimmed by the artist on the platemark except for the tab, 7 1/2 x 5 1/16 inches.

A fine impression, printed with a veil of plate tone, wiped a bit less toward the sky making the sky darker than the street scene.

Hausberg notes that this etching “depicts, in reverse, a stretch of Cheyne Walk between Chelsea Old Church and Oakley Street with the Albert Bridge seen in the background.”

 

The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

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Albrecht Drer

1471 Nuremberg 1528

The Four Horsemen ca. 149798

plate 5 from The Apocalypse

woodcut on laid paper; 395 x 279 mm (15 1/2 x 11 inches)

Bartsch 64; Meder 167 Latin edition of 1511; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 115

provenance

Paul Davidsohn, Berlin (Lugt 654, his stamp verso)

his sale, C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, sale 129, May 38, 1920, lot 1533.

A very good and evenly printing impression; in very good condition showing the borderline all round.

Illustrating the Revelation of St. John the Evangelist, chapter 6 verses 18, this composition counts among Drers most famous images. As an icon of German Renaissance art it ranks at the same level as Drers engravings of Adam and Eve and his three Meisterstiche of 151314.

Paul Davidsohn, born in Danzig in 1839, moved to Scotland in 1858 and then to London in 1862 where he was a merchant for 20 years, later moving to Berlin. Renowned for his Old Master print collection and connoisseurship, in his later years he also gained fame as a financier of the Silent Film era; e.g., he financed the early films of Hans Lubitsch. The sale of his collection at CG Boerner (which in that period held auctions) was the first great print sale after WWI.

Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe) ca. 1657, on Laid Paper

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

rembrandtpetittombe

Rembrandt, Harmenz Van Rijn (1606-1669), Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe), etching, burin and drypoint, c. 1657. References: Bartsch, Hollstein 67, Hind 256, only state; Nowell Usticke’s first state (early)of three, New Hollstein 298, first state (of 2). In excellentcondition, with small margins all around, printed on a thin laid paper, 6 1/8 x 8 1/8 inches.

A fine balanced “black sleeve” impression, with strong burr on the drypoint, especially on the sleeve and garmentof the man at the left, the garment of Christ, the arch, the wall and column upper right, beard of the man upper left, etc.

Provenance: Gerd Rosen, Berlin, sale 23 (1954), lot 1986

Dr. Otto Schfer, Schweinfurt (with his stamp verso, not in Lugt) his sale, Sothebys New York, May 13, 1993, lot 21

Exhibits (and Publications):

Radierungen von Rembrandt in Ingelheim am Rhein, exhibition Ingelheim 1964, cat. no. 13

Kunst und Knnen. Drei Graphische Techniken und ihre Meister aus der Sammlung Otto Schfer, exhibition Martin von Wagner Museum der Universitt Wrzburg / Stdtische Sammlungen Schweinfurt, 1985-86, p. 240, cat. no. R-25, p. 241 ill.

In this print Rembrandt revisits the theme of his magnum opus, the so-called Hundred Guilder Print of ca. 1648 (Bartsch 74). This smaller, condensed version is one of the artists most balanced compositions. It has a classical serenity that has led scholars to point to the influence of Raphaels Vatican fresco of Parnassus. Martin Royalton-Kisch notes that in 1652 Rembrandt sketched a version of Raphaels work, well-known at the time through reproductive prints, in the album amicorum of his friend Jan Six. After establishing the overall scheme with a straightforward combination of horizontal and vertical elements, the artist enriched the details and atmospheric effects by going over the etched plate with a drypoint needle, thereby creating a lively dialogue between clean etched lines and velvety drypoint lines fringed with rich burr (Clifford Ackley, see reference below).

The Petite Tombe has traditionally been dated to ca. 1652. Based on his watermark research Erik Hinterding now proposes an execution date of ca. 1657 (cf. The New Hollstein: Rembrandt. Text, vol. 2, p. 270). Its somewhat confusing title was introduced by Gersaint in 1751 and later mis- understood as making reference to the little tomb on which Christ supposedly stands. In fact, this title refers back to Clement de Jonghes inventory where it is listed as Latombisch plaatjen (La Tombes little plate), a reference to Nicholas La Tombe who might have commissioned the work. Members of the La Tombe family are noted in documents relating to Rembrandt dating to between 1650 and 1658.

The early impressions of La Petite Tombe are sometimes referred to as “black sleeve” impressions because of the burr on the sleeve of the man standing left front, which creates a black effect; in later impressions this area whitens. In such impressions there is also burr on the beard of the man in the top left corner, and on Christ’s garments.

Rembrandt printedimpressions of La Petite Tombe on both European papers (as in our example) and Japan papers. The latter, which tend to be less absorbent, produce washlike patches of tone where the drypoint burr would otherwise be absorbed by the paper, and the resulting look ispainterly, soft and fluid. The Europeanpaper impressions have aclearly defined, structural, architectural look. This impression is particularly well balanced, adding to the sense of calm reflectiveness among the listeners (as well asthe child playing in the foreground).

literature:
Erik Hinterding, Ger Luijten, and Martin Royalton-Kisch (eds.), Rembrandt the Printmaker, exhibition catalogue, Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam/British Museum, London, 200001, no. 68 Clifford S. Ackley et al. (eds.), Rembrandts Journey: Painter, Draftsman, Etcher, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Art Institute of Chicago, 200304, nos. 136f.

Christ at Emmaus: the larger plate 1654

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

B87_ChristatEmmaus

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

Christ at Emmaus: the larger plate 1654 etching and drypoint; 213 x 161 mm (8 3?8 x 6 5/16 inches)

Bartsch 87, White/Boon second state (of three); Hind 282; New Hollstein 283 second state (of five)

provenance
August Artaria, Vienna (Lugt 33);
his sale, Artaria & Co., Vienna, May 613, 1896, lot 534, described as: superbe e?preuve avec beaucoup de barbes. Rare.
Julius Rosenberg, Copenhagen (Lugt 1519 and 1520);
his sale, C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, May 12, 1901, lot 178, described as: prachtvoller Abdruck des zweiten Zustandes, mit starkem Grat … Aus Sammlung Artaria.
Dr. Julius Elischer von Thurzo?ba?nya, Budapest (Lugt 824)
P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock no. in pencil on the verso C. 12793)
Percival Duxbury (18721945), Bredbury, Cheshire (acquired from the above in 1936)
Lilian Honor Lewis (by descent; d. 2013)

In this larger plate Rembrandt revisits a subject he first etched in 1634. The lively scene in the earlier print (Bartsch 88) looks like a vignette from everyday life while 20 years later the image is imbued with a monumental solemnity. Artists traditionally depict this scene showing Christ at the moment when he is breaking the bread. Rembrandt chooses the next instant, when the true identity of the traveler is revealed to the two disciples who had encountered him on their way to Emmaus (Luke 24:1331). The translucency of the lightly etched composition fits the spiritual content at the core of the biblical story, emphasizing the ethereal figure of Christ shortly before he vanished out of their sight.

Christ at Emmaus belongs to a group of four vertical plates depicting scenes from the Life of Christ that are often understood as parts of a projected Passion series; the other three are The Presentation in the Temple: in the Dark Manner (Bartsch 50); The Descent from the Cross by Torch- light (Bartsch 83); and The Entombment (Bartsch 86). Christ at Emmaus and The Descent from the Cross are the only ones dated in the plate, both 1654. The solemn Presentation and the somber Descent from the Cross are both densely wrought dark compositions; the Entombment makes the transition between light and dark from the first to the second state whereas the present plate remains lightly etched, with only minimal, albeit effective, drypoint work added in the second state (New Hollsteins states three through five no longer originate with Rembrandt). It is worth speculating that a fifth plate, Christ Appearing to the Apostles (Bartsch 89), this one a horizontal composition but with precisely the same measurements, dated 1656, and also known only as a lightly etched print, might also have been part of such a late Passion cycle.

In the purely etched first state, the head and halo of Christ appear as if they have not actually been finishedeven if the survival of at least 25 impressions, according to New Hollstein, proves that Rembrandt did pull a small edition. In this, the second state, he added a lot of work, all of it in drypoint. There are more rays in the halo, and, most importantly, the face of Christ has now been completed. However, the burr on the drypoint strokes wore away quickly. The patches of burr showing in our impression along the slanted lines of the curtain and on the hat of the man on the right most effectively indicate that this is a very early pullrepresenting the artists full realization of this mature composition.

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower New York

Monday, October 13th, 2014

 

MarinBBLowerNYBig

John Marin (1870-1953), Brooklyn Bridge and Lower New York, etching and drypoint, 1913, signed in pencil bottom right and inscribed in pencil by the artist “Printed by John Marin/sent out by 291” lower left margin. Reference: Zigrosser 106, second state (of two).Published by Alfred Steiglitz, 291 Fifth Avenue, New York. The full sheet, in very good condition, 6 7/8 x 8 7/8, the sheet 14 3/16 x 15 5/8 inches.

A very fine impression of this great rarity, printed with a veil of plate tone carefully wiped to lighten the center of the composition.

The composition was completed in the first state, known in only a few impressions; in the second state Marin added drypoint accents to the structures below the bridge, the boats in the river, the sky, and to the bridge as well.

Provenance:

Agnes and Eugene Meyer, Mount Kisco, NY; and then by descent to the family

Zigrosser called for an edition of 25 prints on Whatman paper plus a large edition after steel-facing on Van Gelder for the New Republic set in 1924. But he was mistaken in identifying this print as used in the New Republic set; Brooklyn Bridge Swaying No. 6 (Z 112) was initially used for that set but substituted after a few impressions by Downtown the El (Z 134). It is also not clear that the edition of 25 is accurate, for Zigrosser knew of only about a half dozen impressions, in major museums, and the print is virtually never seen on the market.

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower New York is among the earliest, if not the earliest, of the cubist-influenced prints Marin made after working for several years in a Whistlerian/realist idiom. When shown at Steiglitz’s 291 Gallery in 1913 Marin wrote some notes of explanation, including this statement: “I see great forces at work; great movements….In life all things come under the magnetic influence of other things; the bigger assert themselves strongly, the smaller ones not so much, but still they assert themselves, and though hidden they strive to be seen and in so doing change their bent and direction….While these powers are at work pushing, pulling, sideways, downwards, upwards, I can hear the sound of their strife and there is great music being played….And so I try to express graphically what a great city is doing.”

Marin’s modernist prints, done in the same year as the 1913 Armory Show, represent a new direction in American art.

MarinBBLowerNYfullBigf

 

LINDA MAESTRA (Pretty Teacher)

Friday, October 10th, 2014

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FRANCISCO JOSE de GOYA y LUCIENTES (1746 1828)

LINDA MAESTRA (Pretty Teacher) 1799 Delteil 105; Harris103)

Etching, burnished aquatint and drypoint, Plate 68 from the first edition of Los Caprichos. In good condition, the full sheet,8 x 5 7/8, the sheet 11 3/4 x 8 3/8 inches.

A very good impression, with the fine grain aquatint contrating slightly with the highlights on the head and shoulder of the old witch, down the right side of the second witch.

Harris notes that in the later (posthumous) editions the aquatint wears down gradually until the plate prints as a pure etching with a slight general stain.

Goya’s commentary: The broom is one of the most necessary implements for witches; for besides being great sweepers, as the stories tell, they may be able to change the broom into a fast mule and go with it where the Devil cannot reach them.

The Athenaeum, Portsmouth

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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Childe Hassam (1859-1935), The Athenaeum, Portsmouth, etching and drypoint, 1915, signed in pencil with the cypher lower right and inscribed “imp”, also titled in pencil lower left toward the sheet edge. [also signed, titled and dated in the plate, with “Dot”, center left] Printed on an antique Bible paper. Reference: Cortissoz/Clayton 14. In very good condition, with full margins, with the usual drying tack holes Hassam employed when printing personally, 8 1/2 x 6 inches, the sheet 11 7/8 x 9 1/4d inches.

A fine impression of this great rarity, with selectively wiped plate tone highlighting the upper windows of the building, with rich burr from the drypoint work at the left and right sides of the composition.

Cortissoz notes: “Done from nature in Miss Dorothy Whitcomb’s car.”

“The facade of the masterpiece by Charles Bullfinch….This is one of the three buildings by Bullfinch in this beautiful old American Town.” (Cortissoz)

Hassam loved to use old Bible paper for printing when possible; here the verses (from Psalms, CVIII and CIX)are on the left side of the sheet and the rest of the sheet was reserved for commentary.

This is a relatively early etching for Hassam, although he was not young when he created it – he began printmaking in earnest in mid-career, well after he had achieved renown as America’s great impressionist master.

 

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Hassam – The Athenaeum, Portsmouth, the full sheet

 

 

Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 (Swaying), 1913

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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John Marin (1870-1953), Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 (Swaying) = 1913, Etching.

Z112. Edition c. 12 (Steiglitz); 1924, unknown but small (New Republic). Signed in pencil. Signed and dated 13 and B.B. 6 in the plate, lower left.

Image size 10 5/8 x 8 3/4, the sheet size 14 x 10 7/8 inches.

A superb, richly inked impression, with selectively wiped platetone; on warm cream wove paper, with wide margins (1 to 1 5/8 inches), in excellent condition. Very scarce.

First published by Alfred Stieglitz in 1913, a small number of later impressions were printed as the work was slated to be included in the New Republic portfolio Six American Etchings. Only a few impressions were pulled before it was replaced by Marin’s Downtown, the El. Carl Zigrosser was unaware that Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 (Swaying) was ever included in the Set when he wrote the Marin catalogue; later, when he learned of it’s initial inclusion, he suggested that perhaps the plate had broken early in the run, and this hypothesis has been repeated through the years. But this is unlikely since the printer, Peter Platt (1859-1934), America’s most distinguished artists’ printer of the period, worked alone, and he was hardly prone to breaking copper plates. A more likely explanation is that Downtown the El was substituted because it is about the same size as the other prints in the set, whereas the Brooklyn Bridge No. 6 print is much larger; a plate of the same size would facilitate the printing of a large edition. Each of the plates was purchased by the NewRepublic, and the paper’s records for 1924-5, as well as the plates used for the set have been lost or destroyed.

Collections: PMA, MMA (Stieglitz Collection), MoMA (Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller).

Ensayos (Trials)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

goyaensayos

 

Francisco Goya (1746-1828), Ensayos (Trials), etching, aquatint and burin, 1799. Plate 60 of the Caprichos, First Edition. Harris 95, Delteil 97. In very good condition(with the binding holes showing at left), printed in sepia on a soft but stronglaid paper,8 1/16 x 6 1/2,he full sheet, 12 1/16 x 8 3/4 inches.

A fine impression.

Harris notes that the fine grain aquatint in one pale tone contrasts with the highlights on the central figure’s chest, the cat and the skull in the foreground, and with the highlights on the ‘teacher,’ particularly in the early impressions where the aquatint forms a line across her stomach. In this impression these aquatint highlights are quite prominent, as is the line across the teacher’s stomach.

Goya’s commentary: “Little by little she is making progress. She is already making her first steps and in time she will know as much as her teacher. ” The drawing in pen and sepia ink has a legend elucidating this note: “Trial of novice witches on their first flight and they set to work with fear.”

The Bohemians

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The Bohemians

Callot The Vanguard L. 374

Jacques Callot (1592-1635), The Bohemians, the set of four etchings touched with burin, 1621. Reference: Lieure 374 (second state of four); Lieure 375-77 (second state of two). In very good condition, trimmed on or slightly within the platemark but outside of the borderline, 124 x 238 mm.

A fine uniform early set of these iconic images. The first plate (L. 374) is known in four states, the latter two posthumous (our impression is the second state of four, before the posthumous printings). The first state for each plate is extremely rare (Lieure RRRR).

L. 377 with a Cross of Lorraine watermark

The Bohemians is the only case of a Callot series to be assembled in a continuous strip, i.e., the tree in the Stopping Place is completed in the Feast, etc.; so the set could be seen as a long horizontal strip.

The origins of the set are not clear. Lieure believed that it stemmed from Callots early experience -that at the age of 12 he had wanted to travel to Italy, and joined a band of wandering bohemians who brought him to Florence where he was placed in a workshop, then discovered by some merchants from Nancy who made him return home. But this may have been a legend; others have felt that this is a band of mercenary troops rather than gypsies, but its questionable that troops would have brought their families along on their travels. The bohemians do appear to be pillagers, as indicated by the language in The Stopping Place suggesting that those seduced by the bohemians should guard their gold pieces.

callotL 375

Callot The Bohemians Marching L 375

 

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Callot The Stopping Place of the Bohemians (L 376)

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Callot The Feast of the Bohemians L. 377

Sheet of Studies: Head of the Artist, a Beggar Couple, Heads of an Old Man and Old Woman, etc.,

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

 

B363_SheetofStudies_HS

 

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669), Sheet of Studies: Head of the Artist, a Beggar Couple, Heads of an Old Man and Old Woman, etc., etching, 1632. References: Bartsch, Hollstein 363, New Hollstein 115, Hind 90. In good condition (apart from traces of a diagonal fold, minor staining). Second state (of 2), 4 x 4 1/8 inches.

A fine early impression of this rare print.

Provenance:

ex Coll. Viscount Downe (?, with stamp verso, cf. Lugt 719a);

Helmut H. Rumbler (Frankfurt-am-Main, stock number 33004 verso)

C.G. Boerner (New York, Dusseldorf, stock number28987 / RZ verso)

Gerardo Rueda (Spain, 1926-1996); Rueda was a painter and sculptor well known for his art collection as well as his own work.

 

Nowell-Eusticke rates its rarity RR+ (“a very scarce sheet of 1632”).

In addition to the large self portrait the sheet portrays a beggar couple, an old man, an old woman, and other elements. Such sheets, both in drawings and a number of etchings, belong to the tradition of “model books.”

 

 

 

 

Jan Lutma, Goldsmith 1656

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

 

rembrandtjanlutma

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

Jan Lutma, Goldsmith 1656

etching, engraving, and drypoint on thin chine; 196 x 150 mm

Bartsch 276, White/Boon 276 first state (of three); Hind 290; New Hollstein 293 first state (of five)

provenance

John Malcolm, Poltalloch, Argyleshire, Scotland and London (cf. Lugt 1489)

British Museum, London, acquired from the above in 1895 (cf. for the museums stamps designated to the Malcolm collection Lugt 178081; all the above according to the annotated Colnaghi label on the old backing of the frame)

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock no. in pencil on the verso C.21644)

Percival Duxbury (18721945), Bredbury, Cheshire (acquired from the above in 1936)

Lilian Honor Lewis (by descent; d. 2013)

New Hollstein lists three other impressions on Chinese paper.

Jan Lutma (c. 1584-1669) was a master gold and silversmith; he holds an object with a turned stem (possibly a candlestick) in his right hand, and on the table at his left is a drinking bowl.

Rembrandt used a fine needle to draw the portrait and furniture; then enriched the plate through hatching and drypoint. In this impression one can observe substantial drypoint burr, particularly in Lutma’s coat. In the second state Rembrandt added a window in the room (with a signature and date in the upper left pane), and shadows on the wall.

 

 

Christ at Emmaus: the larger plate 1654

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

 


rembrandtemmaus

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

Christ at Emmaus: the larger plate1654

etching and drypoint;

Bartsch 87, White/Boon second state (of three); Hind 282; The New Hollstein 283 second state (of five)

provenance

August Artaria, Vienna (Lugt 33);

his sale, Artaria & Co., Vienna, May 613, 1896, lot 534, described as superbe preuve avec beaucoup de barbes. Rare.

Julius Rosenberg, Copenhagen (Lugt 1519 and 1520);

his sale, C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, May 12, 1901, lot 178, described as prachtvoller Abdruck des zweiten Zustandes, mit starkem Grat. … Aus Sammlung Artaria.

Dr. Julius Elischer von Thurzbnya, Budapest (Lugt 824)

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock no. in pencil on the verso C. 12793)

Percival Duxbury (18721945), Bredbury, Cheshire (acquired from the above in 1936)

Lilian Honor Lewis (by descent; d. 2013)

An extraordinarily fine very early impression, with substantial burr from the drypoint work added in this state. Subsequent states are posthumous.

 

 

Grand-mere

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

 

pissarrograndma1

 

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Grand-mere (effet de lumiere), etching and drypoint, 1889, signed in pencil lower right, titled lower left, inscribed “No 3 – 2e etat” lower left in pencil. Delteil 80, second state (of 7). In good condition (slight rubbing in lower right margin at the signature), the full sheet, 6 5/8 x 10 1/4, the sheet 10 5/8 x 16 inches.

Printed in black on a tan/ivory moderate weight Japan wove paper.

A fine richmpressionof this very rare print,with substantial burr from the drypoint work.

Only one impression is known of the first state; this is one of three or four known of the second state. This state is before additional work on the face of the woman, additional lines delineating furniture and curtains, and aquatint work resulting in the overall greying of the appearance of the print. The print was not editioned;about nine impressions were made of states one through six, and another 6 in the seventh state (there were also 18 posthumous impressions made, easily identifiable by their uniform worn look, andstamped signature and number.)

The subject is the mother of the artist.

 

 

Ponte del Piovan

Monday, July 28th, 2014

whistlerpiovan3 James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Ponte delPiovan, 1879-1880, etching and drypoint, signed on the tab with the butterfly and inscribed “imp.” [also signed with the butterfly in the plate, toward the right on the bridge] References: Kennedy 209, Glasgow 220, fifth state (of 6).It was published (in the fifth and sixth states) by Messrs Dowdeswell and Thibaudeau withA Set of Twenty-six Etchings(the Second Venice Set) in 1886. This is the impression cited and illustrated in Kennedy as the fourth state example; and noted as in the collection ofW. Dowdeswell.

In very goodcondition, trimmed around the plate markexcept for the tabby the artist. Printed in a dark brown ink on a laid paper. With a tiny W and a “0” verso, possibly by Whistler; also annotated “second state” verso in pencil, 8 7/8 x 6 inches.

Provenance: letters SMS in pencil verso (not in Lugt).

Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929), as listed by Kennedy (cf. Lugt 799). Dowdeswell was a London art dealer, and also a collector of Whistler’s work.

watermark:partial crowned shield with fleur-de-lis (cf. Spink/Stratis/Tedeschi, watermark nos. 284f.)

An extremely fine impression, with intenseplate tone toward the bottom of the sheet, and with much burr on the drypoint work added for this state.

This impression was surely printed early in or before the edition, for prints from the edition typically show much wear in the drypoint work (so much so that Kennedy thought the worn impressions constituted a new state).

According to Glasgow, the Ponte del Piovan, Venice, Italy, “has been rebuilt several times, but the view is still remarkably unchanged. The etching was drawn from a gondola, looking north down the Rio de Ca’ Widmann to the Ponte del Piovan detto del Volto, with the Palazzo Widmann beyond. This view, drawn accurately on the copper plate, is reversed, as usual, in the print.

Although Glasgow notes that approximately 44 impressions of Ponte del Piovan were published for the Second Venice Set edition, the print has appeared only rarely on the market in the last 25 years.

Facile Proie – Complete Set of 8

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

 

 

DSCF8178

STANLEY W. HAYTER(1901-1988)
Facile Proie.

Set of 8 engravings, 1938-39. 250×325 mm; 9 7/8 x 12 3/4 inches (sheets), full margins, loose as issued, with the cover and . Each print signed and numbered 43/100 in pencil, lower margin. Numbered 43 in red pencil, on the justification page. Published by Guy Levis Mano, Paris. With the cover and container as issued, in generally good condition, some prints with slight spotting in margins, the outer cover with wear; the album in excellent condition.

Very good impressions of these scarce, early prints. This is the initial edition; a restrike edition was subsequently published. Pictures of all the prints are available on request.

According to Hayter, only approximately 50 sets were made and the plates were abandoned in Paris in 1939. Black/Moorhead 116-123.

Hayter exhibited with the Surrealist group in Paris in 1933 and continued to exhibit with them throughout the 1930’s. He left the movement when Paul Eluard was expelled. Eluard’s poem Facile Proie (1939) was written in response to a set of Hayter’s engravings. Other writers with whom Hayter collaborated included Samuel Beckett as well as Georges Hugnet. Here’s the poem:

Mets-toi hors de I'envol du couteau rouge et bleu 
Tiens-toi bleme et hagard dans I'armure muette 
II gele a del ouvert le feu a sa statue 
Du haut de ta stupeur vois les morts apparaitre 
Etoiles de granit que le vautour enseigne 
A se perdre a passer sans etre divisees 
Un squelette a forger dans I'abime sordide 
Dans le silence epais de la faim rassasiee 

Plante en pature prends bien garde tous tes songes 
Ne compenseront pas la gourmandise amere 
Du la bete au sourire encorne soeur jumelle 
Du bonheur assure par ta force innocente

hayter11

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Nocturne Palaces

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

 

Whistler_NocturnePalaces_K202_firstState_HS

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 Lowell, Massachusetts London 1903),Nocturne: Palaces 187980,etching and drypoint printed in dark brown on off-white laid paper;298 x 201 mm (11 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches),trimmed by the artist just outside the platemark all round; signed in pencil with the butterfly and inscribed imp on the tab;Kennedy 202 before first state (of eight); Glasgow 200 intermediary state between the first and the second (of twelve)

watermark:crowned shield with hunting horn and pendant letters wp

provenance

Frederick Keppel & Co., New York (their stock no. in pencil on the verso a10068)

Mrs. John D. Rockefeller

Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III

Dr. and Mrs. James W. Nelson

Linda Papaharis, New York

Samuel Josefowitz, Pully, Switzerland (acquired in 1988)

A superb impression with carefully modulated tonal wiping; with substantial burr from the drypoint work especially towards the top and bottom of the composition, in impeccable condition.

Before the row of small vertical strokes in the water immediately below the wall of the left palace, to the left of the patch indicating the doorways reflection. Those strokes are already visible in Kennedys first state but not yet in the second state described in the Glasgow catalogue. However, Glasgows second state does show a vertical band of short horizontal lines along the left edge of the shadow cast on the water by the bridge. These horizontal strokes are clearly missing in our impression, making it therefore an intermediary state between Glasgows first and second states.

The unique first state in the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is annotated by the artist 1st state 1st proof; while the composition is basically finished, it lacks any of the tonal wiping characteristic for this print and was never trimmed to the platemark. Apart from this unique proof, the present sheet can therefore be considered as the earliest known impression pulled from the finished plate. We believe this is the only recorded impression of this new “second” state.

Each impression of Nocturne: Palaces is different from the others, in effect a monotype, expressing different times of night or day, temperatures, effects of light.Margaret MacDonald in her classic Palaces in the Night: Whistler in Venice amplifies: “Nocturne: Palaces was a daring plate: difficult to print, relying heavily on the quality of the ephemeral drypoint lines…in the best impressions it is the inking of the plate that coordinates and unifies the widely dispersed lines of shading. The linear pattern of marks is unusual and the inking makes each print unique.”

The Embroidered Curtain

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

 

Whistler_EmbroideredCurtain_HS

James Whistler (1834-1903),The Embroidered Curtain 1889,etching and drypoint, printed in brown on laid paper; 240 x 159 mm (9 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches),trimmed on the platemark all round; signed in pencil with the butterfly and inscribed imp on the tab [also signed with the butterfly upper left],Kennedy 410 first state (of seven); Glasgow 451 first state (of ten)

watermark:Pro Patria

provenance

Robert Rice, his mark (not in Lugt) on verso of backing sheet

David Tunick, Inc., New York (his code in pencil on verso of backing sheet DT )

Gordon Cooke Ltd., London

Samuel Josefowitz, Pully, Switzerland (acquired in 1989)

 

Literature

Sixty-Five Prints by James McNeill Whistler, sale catalogue, David Tunick, Inc., New York 1975 (Catalogue Number 7), no. 43

A very fine, shimmering impression of this great rarity; only a few other first state impressions are recorded, one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, another at the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

 

Bridge, Amsterdam – Final State

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Whistler_BridgeAmsterdam_thirdstate_HSJames McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Bridge, Amsterdam, etching, 1889, printed in brown ink on thin laid paper, signed with the butterfly on the tab and annotated “imp”, also signed with the butterfly on the verso and numbered 11. References: Kennedy 409, Glasgow 447, fifth state (of 5). In very good condition (slight nicks at edges), trimmed by the artist on the plate mark apart from the tab, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches.

Provenance:

Vivian and Meyer P. Potamkin, Philadelphia;

sale, Sothebys, New York, May 11, 1989, lot 302 (the catalogue entry mentions a note on the mat which identifies this impression as formerly owned by Walter Steuben Carter and illustrated in the Kennedy catalogue; comparison with Kennedys plate for his third state and this impression, however, shows that the illustrated print is not identical with the present sheet)

Samuel Josefowitz, Pully, Switzerland

A very fine, shimmering impression of this great rarity.

This impression is included in the Glasgow inventory, ID numberK4090301; only about 11 lifetime impressions in all states are known (three were also printed posthumously by Nathaniel Sparks).

Although the structure of the composition was established in the first state, Whistler’s re-working of the plate through all five states, with the addition of myriad lines, shading, cross-hatching in both etching and drypoint, results in a radically altered look: the final state is a darker, more dramatic, indeed even stormier rendering of what in the first state appeared to be a relatively placid scene. Interestingly, Whistler left much of the area in the upper right corner of the composition unfinished, so that the bridge remains unattached – of course he would argue that this furthers the aesthetic intent, and of course he’s right.

The Village Festival

Thursday, May 8th, 2014
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Dusart – The Village Festival

Cornelis Dusart (1660-17040), The Village Festival, etching, 1685 [signed in the plate lower left “Corn. duSart fe/1685]. References: Bartsch 16, Hollstein 16, second state (of 3). In very good condition, 10 x 13 1/8 inches.

Ex. Collection Charles Ryscamp

A fine impression of this lively, complex composition.

In this monumental portrayal Dusart creates a deep perspective, with very dark figures in the foreground, most of the action in the middle distance, and in the farthest distance a church steeple, distinct only in early impressions such as ours. The inn’s banner identifies it as the “Gulde Schenk Kan” (Golden Tankard).

Dusart was a favored pupil of Adriaen van Ostade, and apparently inherited much of the contents of Ostade’s studio, for the inventory of his estate contained many drawings by Adriaen and his brother Isaak. As is evident by The Village Festival, Dusart was influenced by the Ostades, as well as other Dutch masters such as Jan Steen.

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detail

 

 

Instantanes

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

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Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Instantes, 1911, a portfolio of six woodcuts, including the original paper wrapper, each print is signed and numbered (14/40) in pencil, printed in various colors. Reference: Laboureur 655 (1-6), only state. Printed on soft wove paper. In very good condition, each print matted as issued, the largest about 7 1/4 x 5 1/2, the sheets 11 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches.

This set is one of only five in color pulled by hand. The first 10 sets were pulled by hand in black and white, the next five pulled by hand in color, the rest printed by press (5 in black, 20 in color).

Fine impressions of this rare set, with colors fresh.

Colors are yellow, violet, blue-grey, red, green, blue-green.

The portfolio cover is entitled “Instantanes: Suite de six nus dessines and graves sur bois par J.E. Laboureur.”

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Trois Contes Cruels

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014


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Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Trois Contes Cruels, set of 9 color woodcuts, 1926, each signed in pencil, with the original portfolio wrapper. Reference: Laboureur 748, from the deluxe edition of 10, printed in gold and silver, apart from the text (book) edition of 160 numbered copies; there was also an edition of 9 portfolios issued in black and white; printed on a soft cream wove paper. In very good condition, with margins, the largest image is about 4 1/2 x 4, the sheets each 9 3/8 x 6 1/4 inches.

Fine impressions of this rare set.

According to Laboureur’s notebook entry, he had envisioned this project starting in 1912, and even decided upon the color variations to be used at that time. Early drawings attest to this plan. Eventually – after 15 years – Laboureur completed the project in a modernist/cubist-influenced idiom quite different from his initial realist sketches.

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Shadow Dance

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

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Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Shadow Dance – – 1930, Drypoint and Sand Ground.

McCarron 88. Edition 109 (including at least 7 trial proofs). Signed in pencil. [Signed in the plate, lower right].

Image size 9 7/16 x 10 7/8 inches (240 x 276 mm); sheet size 13 1/8 x 14 7/8 inches (333 x 378 mm).

A superb, rich impression, on cream laid paper, with full margins (1 3/4 to 2 inches); in pristine condition.

One of Lewiss great Precisionist works, and an icon of American printmaking, as well as a wonderful New York image. McCarron notes that initially Lewis named this Shadow Dance, Sunset, but then shortened the title. In a note found on another impression it is mentioned that the man on the left is Lewis himself. The setting is Park Avenue at 34th Street, Manhattan.

Bridge, Amsterdam – First State

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), The Bridge, Amsterdam, etching, 1889. Signed on the tab with the butterfly and inscribed “imp”, also inscribed on the verso in the artist’s hand “first proof pulled” together with the butterfly monogram. In good condition, printer’s crease bottom center. References: Glasgow 447, first state (of five), Kennedy 409, first state of three.

Trimmed on or outside of the plate mark by the artist, with the tab remaining, h: 6.5 x w: 9.5 in / h: 16.5 x w: 24.1 cm

Provenance:

P. and D. Colnaghi, London

H. Wunderlich & Co., New York (stock no. a 33940)

George Washington Vanderbilt (his sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., New York, May 14-16, 1974)

A fine atmospheric impression of this exceedingly rare work (only 9 lifetime impressions have been located, all but this impression in institutional collections) printed in buff ‘antique’ (pre 1800) laid paper, with a light veil of plate tone, slightly stronger in the watery foreground and lighter beyond the bridge and in the sky.

This impression has very little etched work in the water in the central part of the print, consistent with Whistler’s note on the verso that this is the first impression pulled, and with Glasgow and Kennedy’s description of the first state of this print. Instead of the line work, Whistler has left waves of carefully wiped plate tone to represent the movement and shading of the water.

In this early state the bridge railing in the center and shadow work in the buildings at the left are yet to be completed. In the later states Whistler also added heavy lines in the water and sky suggesting a storm; in this state the lines are drawn with an exquisite light touch suggesting a calm before the storm.

 

Jersey City Landscape

Friday, March 14th, 2014

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Reginald Marsh (1896-1954), Jersey City Landscape, etching and engraving, 1939, signed in pencil lower right [also signed and dated in the plate]. Reference: Sasowsky 187, third state (of 3); estimated printings in this state: 20. In very good condition, printed on an ivory laid paper, with margins, 7 3/4 x 11 3/4.

A strong impression. Only three proofs are known in the earlier states; the design was complete from the start. In the third state some engraving – a few lines and tiny buildings – was added just above the building at the far left.

The title is interesting: perhaps for Marsh the most interesting aspect of the Jersey City landscape was the Erie locomotive. The rest of the “landscape” consists of workers standing around or digging, and two women at the far right.

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Detail

Le Pont de Pierre, a Rouen

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

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Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Le Pont de Pierre, a Rouen, etching and drypoint, 1887. Reference: Delteil 66, second state (of 2). Signed lower right in pencil, annotated lower left “No 4 Epreuve d’artiste Pont de Pierre a Rouen Zinc”. In very good condition (tiny fox mark lower right), the full sheet with full margins, 5 x 7 3/4, the sheet 10 1/2 x 14 inches. Printed in black ink on a cream/tan laid paper.

A fine impression, with substantial burr from the drypoint work, with plate tone.

Delteil notes that Pissarro printed two impressions of the first state, and about thirty of the second; posthumous impressions are not known.

Rover dates the first state of Le Pont de Pierre as 1883, the period of Pissarro’s first visit to Rouen.

 

The Little Nude Model, Reading

Friday, February 28th, 2014

 

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Whistler – The Little Nude, Reading

 

James Whistler (1830-1903), The Little Nude Model, Reading, lithograph, 1889-90; [signed with the butterfly in the stone]. Reference: Spink 33, Way 29, only state. Printed by Goulding, January 1904, on a medium weight ivory laid paper with the watermark OWP & AOL, Spink watermark #219. In generally good condition (irregular mat staining outside of the image, a small paper loss left edge) on a large sheet, 10 1/4 x 7 3/4, the sheet 14 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches.

Provenance:

Colnaghi, London (with their stock number C4540 lower right recto)

Unidentified collector (circular stamp lower left verso, not found in Lugt)

Kennedy Gallery (with stock number A97479 verso)

Initials in pencil DK and HNO verso (not in Lugt, possible stock refererences)

A good impression of this popular image. Little Nude Model, Reading sold better than any other lithograph in Whistler’s 1895-6 exhibition at the Fine Art Society, and only one impression remained in his estate in 1903.

A total of 28 impressions of The Little Nude Model, Reading were made by Way, and just after Whistler’s death an edition of 55 were printed by Goulding.

Disparate Pobre (Two Heads are Better Than One) – Proof

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

 

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Francisco Goya – Disparate Pobre – Proof

 

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), etching, with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving, c. 1812; plate 11 from Los Proverbios. References: Delteil 212, Harris 258. In very good condition, 240 x 352 mm., 9 7/16 x 13 7/8 inches, the sheet 280 x 380 mm., 11 x 15 1/8 inches.

A very fine, rare, proof impression, before the edition of c. 1854-1863, printed on cream wove paper.

In this proof impression the delineation of the aquatint is clearer and more vivid than in the published edition, and figures are shown in greater detail, allowing a fuller appreciation of their expressive qualities.

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Detail

 

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Detail

The Duet

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

 

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James Whistler (1834-1903), The Duet, lithograph, 1894, signed in pencil with the butterfly lower left margin (also signed in the plate upper left). Reference: Spink 104, Way 64, Levy 95, only state; 39 lifetime impressions printed. In very good condition (slight rippling right), printed on cream laid paper, with full margins, 246 x 165 mm, 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches, the sheet 280 x 196 mm, 11 x 7 7/8 inches.

Provenance:

Rosalind Birnie Philip (her stamp verso, Lugt 406).

Birnie Philip, Whistler’s sister-in-law and executrix, used two stamps on the lithographs in her collection. Lugt 406, representing the initials RBP in a square, was meant to indicate a lifetime impression (L 405, circle shaped, indicated a posthumous impression).

The Duet shows Beatrix Whistler and her sister Ethel at the piano in the Whistler’s Paris home. It is based on a rather sketchy drawing of the same subject made a few weeks earlier (Spink 96). The Duet, a much richer version of the earlier attempt, is one of Whistler’s most successful efforts in lithography.

 

 

 

George Bellows: A Collection (to be sold individually)

Monday, November 25th, 2013

 

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We are pleased to offer an extraordinary group of George Bellows lithographs, from a private collection, representing all major areas of Bellows’s printed oeuvre, including iconic boxing images, examples of prints from the War Series, New York scenes, vignettes of American life, and portraits of the artist and his family and friends. A listing of these lithographs is shown below (some may not be available as this offering continues). These are being sold individually. Inquiries are welcome, via phone or e mail.

 

The Life Class, First Stone
Mother and Children (June Again)
Artists Judging Works of Art
Business Mens Class (Business Mens Class, Y.M.C.A.) Preliminaries (Preliminaries to the Big Bout)
The Life Class, Second Stone (The Model, Life Class)

Shower-bath

Dance in a Madhouse
Tennis (Tennis Tournament)
The Tournament (Tennis at Newport)
Sunday 1897 (Sunday, Going to Church)
In the Subway
The Hold Up, first state
Counted Out, Second Stone
Introductions
Introducing Georges Carpentier
The Black Hat (Emma in a Black Hat)
Married Couple
Billy Sunday
Between Rounds, Small, Second Stone
Business Mens Bath
The Dead-Line (The Strikers)
Punchinello in the House of Death
The Irish Fair
The Return to Life
The Garden of Growth
The Crowd, second state
Farewell to Utopia
The Drunk, first stone
The Drunk, second stone
The Actress (Lady of 1860, The Actress)
Wedding
Dempsey and Firpo
Dempsey Through the Ropes
Anne in a Black Hat
Jean in a Black Hat, first state
Portrait of Mrs. Herb Roth

Drawing: Nude Study, Boy on a Raft

 

 

 

Chrysler Building (Chrysler Building in Construction)

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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Howard Cook (1901-1980),Chrysler Building (Chrysler Building in Construction)-1930, Wood Engraving.

Duffy 122. Edition 75, only 50 printed. 1931, signedin pencil.

Image size 10 1/16 x 6 11/16 inches (256 x 170 mm); sheet size 11 7/8 x 9 inches (302 x 229 mm).

A superb, black impression, on thin cream wove Japan paper, in excellent condition.

By the early 1930s, Cooks prints of New York, especially its skyscrapers and bridges, were widely known and often reproduced in such magazines as Harpers and The Atlantic Monthly. The first solo exhibition of his prints was held in 1929 at the Weyhe Gallery in New York.

While Cooks lithographs of New York were made in collaboration with the printer George Miller, he insisted on printing his woodcuts and etchings himself. Cook lived in New Mexico for much of his life, and only took up residence in New York for varying periods between 1930 and 1938; nonetheless, he remains most renowned for the prints he produced of what he described as the endearing serrated skyline of the most exciting modern city in the world.

Here Cook shows the Chrysler Building before the addition of its famous art deco crown. For a brief period after it was finished and before the completion of the Empire State Building in 1931, it was the tallest building in the world. Cooks perspective of the illuminated building, seen from below, enhances a sense of its looming monumentality; this is further reinforced by the dark geometric forms of the smaller surrounding buildings.

 

 

Midsummer

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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Childe Hassam (1859-1935), Midsummer, etching, 1919, signed lower right and inscribed “imp” [also signed and dated in the plate]. Reference:Clayton/Cortissoz 150. In very good condition, with the usual drying holes and associated nicks at edges, printed on a cream wove paper with margins, 9 x 7, the sheet 9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches.

A fine fresh and vivid impression of this great rarity.

Midsummer is printed on a sheet with a cancelled impression of The Greek Dance (C/C 91) verso; this was made a few years earlier (1916). Hassam is known to have saved preferred papers, and he may have felt, quite rightly, that Midsummer would have printed especially well on this paper (alternatively, he may have been running short on paper!).

Midsummer is rare; it is known to have been exhibited at the Los Angeles Museum in 1925, but only a few impressions are known to have appeared on the market.

Midsummer was made at Gloucester, Cape Ann.

The Old Mulford Farm (East Hampton)

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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Childe Hassam (1859-1935)

The Old MulfordFarm(East Hampton)-1929, Etching.

Cortissoz 319. Edition not stated. Signed with the artist’s monogram in pencil. Signed, dated, and annotatedEasthamptonin the plate, lower right.

Image size 8 15/16 x 12 inches (227 x 305 mm); sheet size 12 x 15 inches (305 x 381 mm).

A fine, crisp impression, on cream wove paper, with full margins (1 1/2 inches all around), the artists drying tack holes at the sheet edges all around, in excellent condition.Printed by the artist(the imp stands for impressit, indicating that Hassam printed this personally).A scarce East Hampton image.

Hassam’s plates of Easthampton constitute a high point of American Impressionist printmaking; Paula Eliasoph noted that Hassam “deserves to be honored as Easthampton’s greatest poet, whose poems were sung on copper plate – with the rare command of colorful lines of light and shade for his words.”

Reproduced: Impressionist Prints of Childe Hassam, edited by Joseph S. Czestochowski, Dover, 2003.

Collection: Yale University Art Gallery.

The Old Dominy House (East Hampton)

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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Childe Hassam (1859-1935),The Old Dominy House(East Hampton)-1928, Etching.

Cortissoz 303, only state. Edition not stated. Signed with the artist’s monogram in pencil. Signed, dated, and annotatedEasthamptonin the plate, lower right.

Image size 9 x 12 inches (229 x 305 mm); sheet size 12 x 15 inches (305 x 381 mm).

A fine, clean impression, on cream wove paper, with full margins (1 1/2 inches all around), the artists drying tack holes at the top and bottom sheet edges, in excellent condition.Printed by the artist.A scarce East Hampton image.

Hassam’s plates of Easthampton constitute a high point of American Impressionist printmaking; Paula Eliasoph noted that Hassam “deserves to be honored as Easthampton’s greatest poet, whose poems were sung on copper plate – with the rare command of colorful lines of light and shade for his words.”

Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Amica Library, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Cornell University Library, Yale University Art Gallery, Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Rue Saint-Romain, Rouen, 2nd Plate

Monday, November 18th, 2013

 

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Camille Pissarro (1831-1903),Rue Saint-Romain, Rouen, 2nd Plate, 1896, signed, titled and inscribed No. 1 in pencil. Reference: Delteil 177, first state (of 2). In very good condition, with full margins, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2, the sheet 13 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches.

Provenance: unknown collector, with stamp (ES within a square) verso (Lugt 3498).

A fine fresh impression of this great rarity, printed on a cream wove paper.

This is one of only two proofs Pissarro made of the first state, each of which was numbered (1 and 2) titled and signed. In the second state Pissarro had about a dozen proofs pulled, of which five were signed and numbered. Later a small posthumous edition of 6 was made, which was stamped and numbered.

In the second state of this print Pissarro removed much of the sky, lightened the street, took out the cart on the street and the woman toward the right, and made other small changes. But it is possible he was not satisfied with this second state (which looks unfinished, as opposed to our first state, which is a fine coherent composition), for he made another (third) plate of the same subject shortly thereafter in a small edition (10), and even made a fourth plate just after that one (printed in only 2 lifetime impressions).

 

The Swiss Restaurant

Monday, November 18th, 2013

 

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Peggy Bacon (1895-1987), The Swiss Restaurant, 1918, etching and drypoint, signed, titled and annotated “For Sandy” in pencil. Reference: Janet Flint 17, only state, no edition known. In very good condition, with margins, 5 7/8 x 7 7/8, the sheet 8 3/8 x 9 3/4 inches.

A fine rich impression with substantial burr from the drypoint work.

The Swiss Restaurant was a favorite eating place for students of the Art Students League, near Carnegie Hall. The inscription “For Sandy” refers to Bacon’s son, Alexander Brook.

Peggy Bacon was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She studied at the Art Students League with John Sloan, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and George Bellows. Bacon is known to many audiences, for she created paintings and prints,wrote poetry and novels, and illustratedover 60 childrens books.Print lovers know her best for her splendid drypoint compositions, including early modernist works, and her satirical portrayals of both rural and New York life.

Soaring New York

Monday, November 18th, 2013

 

 

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Howard Cook (1901-1980), Soaring New York, aquatint, soft0ground etching, roulette, 1931-2; signed, dated and annotated “imp” in pencil lower right, titled lower margin. Reference: Duffy 165, fifth state (of 5), from the edition of 75. In very good condition, the full sheet with deckle edges, 8 15/16 x 11 3/4, the sheet 11 x 15 1/8 inches.

A fine atmospheric impression, printed on a cream wove paper.

Nearly half of Cook’s entire print output was done in the period from 1928-1931, including most of his iconic images of New York.Soaring New York is one of the most successful prints within this group.

L’Aile

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

 

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Odilon Redon (1840-1916), L’Aile, 1893, on Chine appliqu, signed in pencil lower left. Reference: Mellerio 122, only state, from the edition of 25, printed by Becquet, Paris. In very good condition, the matrix flawless, with margins, 12 5/8 x 9 3/4, the sheet 15 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches.

A fine fresh vibrant impression of this iconic image.

It is interesting to note that 100 years ago two galleries at the 1913 Armory Show were dominated by the work of Odilon Redon, an artist show organizers Walt Kuhn and Arthur B. Davies encountered in Europe and decided to feature. Although a full room was given to Redon’s work at the Salon d’Automne in 1904, and he was recognized as an influence on Nabis artists such as Bonnard and Denis, he was still virtually unknown in the United States. Redon was well received, both critically and financially.

Lillie Bliss, encouraged by Davies, purchased a number of Redon works at the 1913 Armory Show, including the impression of L’Aile which is now at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

 

Some impressions from the small edition of 25 were not signed, such as the example in Christie’s London September 16 2015 sale.

 

 

 

 

Member: International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA)

 

 

 

Three Travelers Crossing a Bridge in the Snow

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Smokehounds

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

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Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Smokehounds,1934, Etching

Sasowsky 158. Edition 13. Signed in pencil. [Initialed and dated in the plate, lower right.]

Image size 11 7/8 x 8 13/16 inches (300 x 224 mm); sheet size 14 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches (362 x 273 mm).

A fine, crisp impression, on BFK Rives off-white wove paper, with full margins (7/8 to 1 3/8 inch). A repaired tear (3/8 inch) in the bottom left sheet edge, well away from the image, otherwise in excellent condition. Printed by the artist. Very scarce.

Marsh made a single trial proof of each of the eight states prior the definitive ninth state, but the design was complete in the first state. He successively added small changes in the successive states after the first; in the ninth he added shading lines in the lower left part of the girder at the left, and some additional shading to the left of the man standing at the far left. In his notes he mentioned that two of the prints among the thirteen he printed in the ninth state were “defective”, so the actual number of prints in the “edition” was surely fewer than 13 (and of course Marsh’s estimates of estate size were frequently off; he typically noted that the number of impressions in the final state was more than it actually was).

A painting by the artist of the same subject is in the permanent collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.; a drawing of the subject is in the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. The title refers to the Bowery dwellers intoxication from cheap alcohol, popularly called smoke.

 

 

The Adoration of the Magi

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

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Albrecht Drer (1471 Nuremberg 1528),The Adoration of the Magi 1511,woodcut; 295 x 221 mm,Bartsch.3; Meder 208 b (of i); Schoch, Mende and Scherbaum 225

watermark:bulls head and flower and initials JZ (Meder 70)

provenance

Graf Yorck von Wartenburg, Klein-Oels, Silesia (Lugt 2669);

his sale, C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, May 2-3, 1932, lot 382; 750 Marks to Guiot

Gabriel Cognacq, Paris (Lugt 538d);

his sale, M. Rousseau, Drouot, Paris, May 21, 1952, lot 105; 34,000 francs

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (stock no. 28704)

Richard Zinser, Forest Hills, NY

thence by descent

N.G. Stogdon, cat. VIII: German and Netherlandish Woodcuts of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, 1991-92, no. 34

 

The print was made the same year Drer published another version on this subject in the cycle of the Life of the Virgin (Meder 199; this latter print was actually executed earlier in ca. 1501-03). The 1511 version is slightly larger than the blocks in the series and it was clearly intended as a separate single-leaf print. Therefore, it presents an excellent opportunity to observe the remarkable artistic development between the two treatments of the same subject: Drer brings a greater clarity and monumentality to the individual forms as well as to the whole composition. Ultimately, he redefines the traditional devotional image within a new artistic form.

 

Meders states (a) and (b) differ only in the watermark; Drer seemed to have used paper with a high crown watermark (Meder 20) for part of his earliest edition of this print and even his state (a) already shows first traces of a fine vertical crack in the block at top and bottom; as described by Meder under (a), this crack is hardly noticeable in the present impression.

 

A very fine impression; the borderline visible all round; glue marks stemming from an old album mount visible only on the verso, otherwise in excellent condition.

 

 

 

 

Lutteurs (Fighters)

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

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Jacques Lipschitz (1891-1973), Lutteurs (Fighters), etching, aquatint, burin, c. 1940, signed in pencil lower right and numbered 8/33 lower left, from the presumed edition of 33. In very good condition, with margins (slight soiling in margins) printed on a cream wove paper. 13 3/4 x 9 15/16, the sheet 18 1/2 x 13 inches.

A fine, strongly printed impression, in black ink on medium weight ivory/cream laid paper.

An impression of this print in the collection of the University of Virginia Museum of Art, from the T. Catesby Jones Collection, is titled: The Road to Exile.

Lipschitz has worked this plate in sculptural terms: the etched lines are bitten deeply, the engraved lines are cut vigorously, and the aquatint is drawn in effective contrasts against a deep black background, so that the printmaking itself heightens the drama of the composition.

Lipschitz, born in Druskeniki, Polish Lithuania, began his art studies at Vilna but went to Paris in 1909 to study at the famed Academy Julian, and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He focused on sculpture; was influenced by Archipenko, African sculpture, and of course Cubism; became a close friend of Juan Gris and an admirer of Rodin. While in Paris he explored printmaking at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17. (Hayter, a British painter-printmaker, had established a workshop in Paris in 1927 where he taught classes in etching and engraving to artists interesting in printmaking, and provided facilities for established artists such as Picasso, Ernst, Calder, Chagall, Giacometti, as well as Lipschitz. In 1940 he moved the workshop to New York.) In 1941, after Hitler’s army occupied France Lipschitz escaped to the United States, where after a short time he resumed his connection with Hayter, completing his very few intaglio prints (probably only about 7 in all) which were rich and inventive studies and variations in Cubist volume, mostly related to the theme of the Minotaur, a subject he also explored in his sculpture.

Sunbathers on the Roof

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

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John Sloan (1871-1951), Sunbathers on the Roof, etching, 1941, signed and titled in pencil, from the edition of 175 published by the American College of Print Collectors, in good condition (old hinging top edge verso, a scratch verso not showing through). Reference: Morse 307. 6 x 7, the sheet 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches.

A fine clear impression, printed on an ivory laid paper, with full margins with deckle edges.

Sloan wrote of this print: “In the spring as the rays grow warmer, the tenement roofs in New York begin to come to life. More washes are hung out – gay colored underthings flap in the breezes, and on Saturdays and Sundays girls and men in bathing togs stretch themselves on newspapers, blankets or sheets in the sun, turning over at intervals like hotcakes.”

Financial District

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

 

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Howard Cook (1901-1980), Financial District, lithograph, 1931, signed and dated in pencil lower right and numbered 75 lower left. Reference: Duffy 155, from the stated edition of 75. In very good condition, with full margins, 13 3/8 x 10 3/8, the sheet 18 3/8 x 13 7/8 inches.

A fine impression, printed on cream wove paper.

Cook’s lithographs were made in collaboration with famed printer George Miller. Nearly half of Cook’s entire print output was done in the period from 1928-1931, including most of his iconic images of New York.

Les Courses The Races at Longchamps

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

 

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Edouard Manet

1832 Paris 1883

Les Courses a Longchamps The Races at Longchamps 1864

lithograph on chine appliqu;

chine: 404 x 517 mm (15 7/8 x 20 5/16 inches)

Moreau-Nlaton 85; Gurin 72; Wilson-Bareau (1977) 66; Wilson-Bareau (1978) 76; Fisher 56; Harris 41 second state (of three)

 

provenance

Robert M. Light & Co., Inc., Boston

Carolyn and George Rowland, Boston (acquired in 1972)

 

Paul Sachs in his Modern Prints and Drawings asks: “Why is this scribble, done in fever heat, important enough to reproduce? Because an impression of a shifting scene has rarely, if ever, been better rendered in black and white; because the excitement of the race track is made so vivid that we want to shout and bet on the winner; because the significance of movement is stressed; and finally because there is present in the skillful rendering of the agitated scene a quality that is of importance in a work of art: complete consistency of treatment.

Midnight Manhattan

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

HoovermidnightmanhattanDSCF8093-001

Ellison Hoover (1888-1955), Midnight Manhattan, lithograph, c. 1930, signed in pencil lower right. From the edition of 50. In very good condition, with full margins, 10 7/8 x 8 5/8, the sheet 13 x 11 inches.

A fine impression of Hoover’s most iconic image, printed on a cream wove paper.

An atmospheric, and possibly slightly romanticized vision of mid-town Manhattan, with the Chrysler Building clearly recognizable toward the left, and the Empire State Building at the right.

 

Rue Vue D’en Haut ca. 1895–99

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Bonnard_RueVueHaut

 

Pierre Bonnard

1867 Fontenay-aux-Roses – Le Cannet 1947

 

Rue Vue D’en Haut ca. 189599

color lithograph on thin wove paper; 370 x 220 mm (14 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches)

Bouvet 62

provenance
estate of the printer Auguste Clot, Paris

A proof impression outside the edition of 100 from the set Quelques Aspects de la vie de Paris, published by Ambroise Vollard with a cover date of 1895 (but probably not before 1899).

 

Manhattan Vista

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

DSCF8094-001

Armin Landeck (1905-1984), Manhattan Vista, drypoint, 1934, signed and dated in pencil lower right and inscribed “Ed 100” lower right. Reference: Kraeft 47, only state, stated edition of 100. In very good condition, with full margins, 10 1/8 x 8 7/8, the sheet 13 7/8 x 12 1/4 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a cream wove paper.

Landeck wrote of this print: “Detail [lower left] from my lithograph, View of New York [K. 37, 1932).

 

Night in New York

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

DSCF8086

 

Martin Lewis (1881-1962) Night in New York, drypoint, 1932, signed in pencil lower right [also signed in the plate in a rectangle lower right]. Reference: McCarron 102, from the edition of 125 (another 10 impressions were reserved for the artist). In very good condition, with full margins, 8 3/8 x 8 7/8, the sheet 13 1/8 x 11 5/8 inches.

A presentation print of the Chicago Society of Etchers, with their blindstamp lower left. The edition was printed by Charles S. White.

A fine impression, printed in black ink on cream laid paper.

New York was a central subject matter for Lewis; in Night in New York he depicts a typical New York young women – perhaps not distractingly attractive, but that was never a concern of Lewis’s – and by focusing on a single figure captures both the excitement, and the loneliness, of the city.

 

New York

Monday, July 29th, 2013

 

DSCF8092

Louis Lozowick (1892-1973), New York, lithograph, c. 1925, signed and dated 1923 in pencil. Reference: Flint 6. In excellent condition, the full sheet with deckle edges, printed on a cream wove BFK Rives paper (with the watermark initials BFK); 11 3/8 x 8 15/16, the sheet 15 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches. Margins: left 1 3/8, bottom 2 1/8, right 1, top 2 3/8 inches. One of approximately 15 known impressions.

A fine fresh impression of this great rarity.

Flint (1982) lists an impression in the National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian) but lists no other institutions holding this print; an impression was given to the British Museum in 1993 (and it served as the cover print for the catalog of their major exhibition The American Scene, The British Museum Press, 2008).

“New York” is a cubist/futurist vision of the city Lozowick conceptualized while in Europe during the period from 1920-24. ”New York” is a composite of recollected views – the Brooklyn Bridge is at the lower left; much was recalled, according to Lozowick, from trips on the elevated line on West 109th Street made when attending the National Academy of Art during the years 1912-15; the buildings and the elevated subway cars at the right are treated in what Lozowick called a “futurist technique.”

British Museum curator Stephen Coppel, in The American Scene catalog, calls “New York” “Lozowick’s most important print,” expressing his “utopian vision of New York as the ultimate symbol of the modern American city.”

Lozowick was of course influential in developing the American School of Precisionism, even while he was in Europe in the early ’20’s, and then later when he returned to the U.S. In his essay on the Americanization of Art, written in the late ’20’s, he famously noted that the “artist who confronts his task with original vision and accomplished craftsmanship, will note with exactitude the articulation, solidity and weight of advancing and receding masses, will define with precision the space around objects and between them; he will organize line, plane and volume into a well knit design…and weave organically into every composition an all pervading rhythm and equilibrium.”

 

 

Wapping, The Pool (The Large Pool)

Monday, June 24th, 2013

whistlerlargepool2nd

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), The Large Pool (Wapping, The Pool), etching and drypoint, 1879, signed with the butterfly on the tab, [also signed with the butterfly in the plate, lower left]. References: Kennedy 174, Glasgow 180, Glasgow’s eighth state (of 8), In excellent condition, trimmed by the artist on the plate mark except for the tab, 7 1/2 x 11 inches.

Provenance:

Edward James

Robert Light & Co., Boston, then to Carolyn Crossett Rowland in April, 1988.

Printed in dark brownish/black ink on cream/ivory laid paper with the Arms of Amsterdam watermark.

A very fine impression of this extremely rare print, signed in pencil with the early large shaded butterfly (butterfly of 1879). This print was not published; the Whistler Etchings Project at Glasgow has identified 13 impressions.

The Large Pool shows the Pool of London at Wapping, the scene of several prints of the Thames done some twenty years earlier. In composition it anticipates the etchings Whistler was about to do in Venice.

According to the Glasgow catalogue Whistler apparently had a high regard for this plate, as evidenced by the care he took with selection of papers and printing of various states, and by correspondence regarding the plate; and he may have hoped it would help him avert bankruptcy. But it did not (and indeed he gave one impression to James Waddell, the accountant involved in the bankruptcy proceedings); in the end no edition of the print was made.

Paniconographie (Pornography)

Friday, June 21st, 2013

ropspaniconographie

Felicien Rops (1833-1898), Paniconography (Pornography), etching, drypoint, soft-ground etching, c. 1880, signed and titled in pencil lower right, and signed again toward the bottom of the sheet. References: Exteens 764, Revens and Amiel 210. In good condition, the full sheet (some soft handling folds, slight soiling, toning), with full margins, 8 1/2 x 6 1/4, the sheet 18 x 11 5/8 inches. Printed in black ink on an ivory/tan wove paper with the watermark MBM.

A fine impression of a woman perched atop a centaur, plus a few sketches of faces in the upper left. As usual, Rops utilizes his vast talent as a draftsman in the service of a far-flung pornographic image.

Paniconograhy is rarely seen on the market, perhaps for obvious reasons; the last recorded sale we could find at auction was at Christie’s London in December 1992 (sold for 440L or $685).

Note: this print will be sold unmatted.

Tourelle Rue de Tixeranderie (House with a Turret, Rue de Tixeranderie)

Friday, June 21st, 2013

meryontourelle

Charles Meryon (1821-1868), Tourelle Rue de Tixeranderie, etching, 1852. References: Schneiderman 24, 2-3rd state (of 5); Delteil 29, 2-3rd state (of 5). In very good condition, printed in browish/black ink on a bluish laid paper. In very good condition, with full margins, 9 5/8 x 5 1/8, the sheet 12 5/8 x 8 inches.

Provenance:

Knoedler (with their stock number K5360 verso0

Kennedy Galleries (with their stock number a 48762 verso)

mile Galichon (1829-1875), Paris (Lugt 856; cf. also Lugt 1058f, which mentions his posthumous 1875 sale of Meryon.), his sale, Paris (expert Clment), May 10-14, 1875

A fine fresh impression.

In the Schneiderman’s fourth state (and Delteil’s IV and V)the inscriptionwas added below. This impression corresponds to Schneiderman’s illustration of State 2, but “random scratches in the sky and on the walls of the house” are not apparent, and it also seems the small gaps described as filled in in State 3 are indeed filled in.

This house stood at the corner of the rue de Coq; it was demolished in 1851, so Meryon made preparatory drawings of the house just in time (Meryon was trying to capture Parisian scenes and structures that were vulnerable to the destructive forces of modernization). The street was mentioned in Notre-Dame de Paris as among the most interesting in the city.

 

 

Le Styrge (The Vampire)

Friday, June 21st, 2013

meryonstryge

Charles Meryon (1821-1868), Le Styrge (The Vampire), etching, 1853. References: Schneiderman 27, fifth state (of 10); Delteil 23, fourth state (of 8). In very good condition, with full margins, printed on a blue/green laid paper, 6 5/8 x 5, the sheet 11 x 8 5/8 inches.

Provenance:

Knoedler, New York (with their stock number K 2341)

Colnaghi, London (with their stock number c 3114)

C. W. Dowdeswell (stamp verso, Lugt 690)

A fine rich impression, with plate tone. In the next state the inscription at the bottom is removed, the plate shows signs of wear and the printing is typically less rich, with little or no tone. In this state the print was printed by the artist himself (cf. James D. Burke, Charles Meryon, Prints and Drawings, p. 33-9)

The Stryge is one of the stone gargoyles leaning on a parapet of the upper balcony of a tower of the Notre-Dame in Paris. In a letter to his father Meryon wrote: “This monster which I have represented does exist, and is in no way a figment of imagination. I thought I saw in this figure the personification of Luxuria; it is this thought which inspired me to compose the two verses at the bottom of the print…” The verse, in translation: “Insatiable vampire,/Eternal Luxuria/ Coveting the Great City/ As its feeding place.”

L’Abside de Notre Dame de Paris – 4th State

Friday, June 21st, 2013

meryonapsenotredame4

 

Charles Meryon (1821-1868), L’Abside de Notre Dame de Paris, etching with engraving and drypoint, 1854. References: Schneiderman 45, fourth state (of 9), Delteil 38, fourth state (of 8). In good condition, with thin area top edge, with full margins, 6 1/2 x 11 5/8, the sheet 10 5/8 x 17 inches.

Provenance:

Knoedler (with their stock number K 3025)

A very good impression, printed in dark brownish/black ink on an ivory laid paper with the HUDELIST watermark (characteristic of impressions of L’Abside in this state), printed personally by the artist.

The eminent art critic Phillipe Burty wrote of LAbside: The view of Notre-Dameis a magisterial sight. The church of Notre Dame seems to have exerted a great attraction on the dreamy spirit of the artist. It has dictated to a poet [Victor Hugo] one of the beautiful books of our generation; it has inspired in Meryon his most beautiful plate.

 

Nude on Couch

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

phillipsnude

Martin Erich Phillip (1887-1978), Nude on Couch, 1920, etching, signed in pencil lower right and titled and numbered lower left [also initialed MEPH in the plate]. Second state (of 2). In excellent condition, printed on a heavy cream wove paper, with full margins (5 3/4 x 3 3/4, the sheet 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches.

A fine fresh impression, with plate tone.

In the second state the artist darkened the women’s coat and her shadow.

Austrian-born Phillip worked also in the US, where he is well-known for his color woodcuts of birds and flora; this etching obviously represents a different subject matter and printmaking approach.

Recently the eminent London dealer Emanuel Von Baeyer showed a number of Phillip’s etchings which help illuminate this aspect of his work; Von Baeyer also wrote a short essay on the origins of Phillip’s art, comparing the work with that of Sickert (see http://www.evbaeyer-cabinet.com/current-exhibition/two-contemporaries/).

 

 

Fish Shop, Chelsea

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

whistlerfishshop

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Fish Shop, Chelsea, etching and drypoint, 1886, signed with the butterfly on the tab and inscribed imp [also signed with the butterfly in the plate upper left]. References: Kennedy 264, Glasgow 267, first state (of 2). In very good condition (slight staining upper right, trimmed by the artist on the plate mark all around except for the tab. Printed on an ivory laid paper with plate tone, 5 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches.

A limited edition of 50 impressions ofFish Shop, Chelsea was printed in 1886 for the benefit of the Society of British Artists; these were impressions of the first state. Our impression was thus probably from that edition, although Whistler is known to have reserved about 5 impressions for himself.

A fine impression.

Provenance: Colnaghi, London (with their stock number c10570 verso).

In the relatively rare second state Whistler added drypoint lines to the woman behind the counter of the fish shop.

The etching shows Maunder’s Fish Shop among a row of shops in Chelsea. The Glasgow catalogue notes: “Mrs Elizabeth Maunder’s fish-shop was at 72 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London. 9 The building was demolished in 1892… Whistler later lived in the house that replaced it, which was built by the architect C. R. Ashbee. The building was destroyed in World War 2. The same row of houses appears in Whistler’s oil painting Street in Old Chelsea painted in the early 1880s, where the fish-shop, with its light plastered walls and steep pitched roof, is just to left of centre.”

 

irving as philip

Monday, June 17th, 2013

whistlerphilip

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 Lowell, Massachusetts London 1903), Irving as Philip of Spain, No. 2 1876/77, drypoint and etching on tissue-thin Chine;

plate: 224 x 152 mm (8 13/16 x 6 inches)

sheet: 364 x 272 mm (14 5/16 x 10 11/16 inches)

inscribed by Whistler in pencil at lower right: very rare_ / printed by the Maud_

Kennedy 171, third state (of four); Glasgow 159 third state (of six)

provenance

Howard Mansfield, New York (Lugt 1342)

Harris G. Whittemore, Naugatuck, Connecticut (Lugt 1384a)

private Collection

Notes:

A rare print before cancellation. Glasgow notes that 22 impressions have been accounted for; however, the great majority of these are from the cancelled plate.

Maud Franklin was of course Whistler’s model and mistress; she was an artist, and, as indicated here, apparently did some printing for Whistler. It is interesting that several of the pre-cancellation proofs shown in the Glasgow catalog show very irregular wiping patterns, perhaps characteristic of an inexperienced printer (i.e., Maud). Our impression too has been wiped irregularly, especially towards the right side and around Irving’s legs. But selective wiping is evident; the figure has been wiped rather cleanly highlighting it against a background of plate tone.

The Glasgow catalog notes that this print “is closely related to Whistler’s oil painting, Arrangement in Black, No. 3: Sir Henry Irving as Philip II of Spain [y187], painted in 1876. Another version of the same drypoint is Irving as Philip of Spain, No. 1 [G 158]. Henry Irving (1838-1905) was an actor, the subject of many portraits and paintings.

whistlerphilipdetail

Detail – Whistler’s inscription; Mansfield and Whittmore marks showing through

Augustus Saint Gaudens II (Saint Gaudens and his Model), 1897

Monday, June 17th, 2013

 

zornstgaudens

Anders Zorn (1860-1920), Augustus Saint Gaudens II (Saint Gaudens and his Model), etching, 1897, signed in pencil lower right [also titled, initialed, dated in the plate]. References: Asplund 114, only state; Hjert and Hjert 74, Schubert-Soldern 85. In very good condition (upper margin edge as if taken from a notebook), with margins, 5 1/2 x 7 7/8, the sheet 8 x 12 1/2 inches.

A fine impression of this rather rare print, printed in dark brownish/black ink with plate tone on an ivory laid paper with the watermark Pro Patria with initials J L & Z.

This portrait of Saint Gaudens (1848-1907) shows the artist with his seductively posed model who is surely Davida Johnson Clark, the beautiful young model by whom he had a child.

Saint Christopher Facing Right 1521

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

 

Meder52_StChristopherFacingRight_HS (3)Albrecht Durer (1471 Nuremberg 1528)

Saint Christopher facing right 1521

engraving; 119 x 74 mm (4 11/16 x 2 15/16 inches)

Bartsch 52; Meder 52 a (of d); Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 94

provenance
Wilhelm August Ackermann, Lbeck and Dresden (Lugt 791);
his sale, Rudolph Weigel, Leipzig, March 29ff., 1853, lot 138, described as
Kostbarster Druck und mit 11 Lin. breitem Rande.; sold for 7 Thaler 15 to
Gabriel von Cronstern III, Nehmten (cf. Stogdon, p. 357);
their sale (a German Family of Title, part 2), Christies, London, June 18, 1992, lot 56
Robert M. Light & Co., Inc., Santa Barbara
Carolyn and George Rowland, Boston

A superb impression in impeccable condition, with generous margins all round.

The silvery tones of this impression are characteristic of Drers prints of the 1520s. In the engravings as well as the woodcuts (such as The Last Supper, 1523) made during this late part of his career, the artist began to replace the often dramatic black-and-white contrasts of his earlier prints with a wide range of subtle gradations of gray.

p

Gants de Suede

Friday, May 24th, 2013

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James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Gants de Suede, lithograph, 1890, signed in pencil with the butterfly lower left [also with the artist’s butterfly signature in the plate]. Reference: Spink, Stratis and Tedeschi 35. In good condition, with slight evidence of pale mat staining, pinhole toward bottom edge. 8 1/2 x 4 1/8, the sheet 12 1/2 x 8 3/16 inches.

Provenance:

Kennedy Galleries, with their stock number (a23958) recto.

Estate of Marie D. Powers (acquired from above, 1974)

A fine lifetime impression.

Printed on a cream laid paper with the watermark IV, Spink et al’s Watermark number 191 (IV countermark to Seven Provinces, nos. 273,274), identified as a lifetime watermark characteristic of the pre-publication lifetime impressions of Gants de Suede.

Gants de Suede is a portrait of Whistlers sister-in-law, Ethel Birnie Philip. Whistler was apparently pleased with this lithograph, for after a small number of impressions were printed he agreed that it could be published by The Studio, an art magazine that had recently been launched. The present impression is before this larger edition.

Spink et al note: “By manipulating several lithographic crayons, Whistler achieved a range of subtle tonalities and a convincing sense of the figure’s plasticity in Gants de suede. These qualities were most fully realized in the impressions Thomas Way printed by hand from the original stone.”

 

Becquet – Definitive State

Thursday, May 16th, 2013
whistlerbecquetfinal

Whistler – Becquet

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Becquet, 1859, etching, printed in dark brown on ivory wove paper. Signed in pencil with the butterfly lower margin, and signed with the butterfly and inscribed by the artist “Very fine proof” and with the tiny circle device (the artist’s marking of a fine proof) verso. In very good condition, remains of prior hinging verso. References: Glasgow 62, sixth state (of 6), Kennedy 52, fourth state (of four); Lochnan 55, included in the Thames Set, 10 x 7 5/8, the sheet 11 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches.

Provenance

Howard Mansfield (Lugt 1342, two stamps verso)

Harris Whitmore (Lugt 1384a, stamp verso)

E.R. Martin, New York (pencil initials verso, not in Lugt)

Charles C. Cunningham, Jr., Boston (not in Lugt, stamp verso)

R.M. Light and Co., Boston

acquired: Carolyn Crossett Rowland, from above, 1980

Kennedy Galleries (with their stock number verso, a27047)

A very fine, rich impression; given its exceptional quality probably printed apart from the Thames Edition.

Another impression in this state signed and with the artist’s inscription as here is in the Freer Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the signature on the Freer impression is estimated by Glasgow to be of 1890.

Whistler titled the plate The Fiddler when he published it as part of the Thames Set in 1871. It is one of the two non-Thames subjects included in the set (the other is The Forge, Kennedy 68). The print shows the French sculptor and musician Just Becquet (18291907), a friend of the artist who, according to Joseph Pennells Whistler Journal, lived in his studio among disorder and his cello (quoted after Lochnan, p. 104).

The plate on which the portrait was drawn had previously been used for an oblong view of West Point which a friend of Whistler brought to him for his opinion; stacked muskets and other paraphernalia can still be seen toward the lower edge of this print.

DSCF8021

Verso: Cunningham stamp; Whistler butterfly and inscriptions

 

Becquet – Pre-publication proof

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

whistlerbecquet

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Becquet, 1859, etching, printed in black on very thin Japan paper (the sheet has various condition problems and is laid down on wove paper). References: Glasgow 62, fourth state (of 6; this impression is pictured in the Glasgow catalogue for the fourth state), Kennedy 52, second state (of four); Lochnan 55, 9 x 7 , the sheet 10 x 8 inches.

Provenance

Knoedler & Co., New York (their stock no. in pencil on the verso MK31679)

An early impression of this print. This proof precedes those published in the Thames Set (the first printing of this Set was in the fifth state, a later printing in the 1870’s in the sixth state. In states after the fourth the foul biting at the bottom of the plate was cleaned.

Whistler titled the plate The Fiddler when he published it as part of the Thames Set in 1871. It is one of the two non-Thames subjects included in the set (the other is The Forge, Kennedy 68). The print shows the French sculptor and musician Just Becquet

(18291907), a friend of the artist who, according to Joseph Pennells Whistler Journal, lived in his studio among disorder and his cello (quoted after Lochnan, p. 104).

The plate on which the portrait was drawn had previously been used for an oblong view of West Point which a friend of Whistler

brought to him for his opinion; stacked muskets can still be seen at the lower right corner of this print.

$3500

Nocturne: Palaces

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

whistlernoct2

James Whistler (1834-1903), Nocturne: Palaces, etching and drypoint with plate tone, 1879-80, signed with the butterfly on the tab and inscribed “imp.” Also with a second butterfly in pencil verso, and the artist’s tiny circle device (signifying a selected proof). Reference: Glasgow 200, twelfth state (of 12), Kennedy 202, ninth state (of 9). From the Twenty-Six Etchings, the Second Venice Set. In very good condition (scattered light foxing verso, not visible recto), on laid paper (trimmed by the artist to the platemark except for the tab), 11 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches.

Watermark: Coat of Arms of Amsterdam

Provenance:

Kennedy Galleries (with their stock number a53836 verso

Ch. E. Ellingwood (Lugt 822, verso)

A superb, luminous impression, printed in brown ink, carefully wiped to darken the water in the canal in the foreground and the sky toward the top.

It is rather unusual for Whistler to sign his prints verso (as well as recto); this is sometimes considered evidence of a selected proof, as is his adding of one or more tiny circles. Of course Whistler was a practiced marketer, so such added markings are not always indicative of anything; and in any case they are quite unnecessary as proof of the quality of this impression.

In this state, in the words of the Glasgow catalogue, “considerable shading is added to the left side of the image, most notably: on the sky between the left and centre palaces and the wall of the right palace; under the eaves of the left palace; on the balcony, shadow and doorway of the left palace; on the centre palace, seen behind the bridge; around the beams eminating from the lamp; on the bridge, the shadow beneath it and its reflection; and on the reflection of the gondola.” These additions heighten the features of the palaces, the bridge, and the lamplight, which were losing focus in prior states.

Each impression of Nocturne: Palaces is different from the others, in effect a monotype, expressing different times of night or day, temperatures, effects of light. The lamp lighting the composition from within (a device borrowed from Rembrandt and also used in his Street at Saverne of 1858) is in this impression quite visible; in other impressions it is pale and nearly lost. This impression is in some ways comparable to an impression (also of the last state) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (pictured in Katherine A. Lochnan’s book The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler) although of course there are still substantial differences in the wiping of the plate tone. Indeed, differences in states for this print can be slight, while differences in the wiping of the plate from one impression to another are vast.

Margaret MacDonald in her classic Palaces in the Night: Whistler in Venice amplifies: “Nocturne: Palaces was a daring plate: difficult to print, relying heavily on the quality of the ephemeral drypoint lines…in the best impressions it is the inking of the plate that coordinates and unifies the widely dispersed lines of shading. The linear pattern of marks is unusual and the inking makes each print unique.”

 

The Country Dance, Small Plate

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
claudedance

Claude – The Country Dance, Small Plate

Claude Gellee, called Le Lorrain (1600-1682), The Country Dance, Small Plate, etching, c. 1637. Reference: Manocci 19, fourth state B (of seven). In very good condition, trimmed on or outside of the platemark, 5 3/8 x 7 3/4 inches.

Watermark: Pascal Lamb (Manocci watermark no. 19)

A fine lifetime impression, printed with a subtle layering of plate tone.

The first state of The Country Dance, with three goats in the foreground left, is known in only one impression (in the British Museum). The second state, with the goats burnished out, is also unique (collection: Oxford). In the third state, lines in the sky were burnished out, and in the fourth state (A) the plate corners have been rounded; in the fourth state (B) a long broken scratch runs through the highest of the three birds. In the fifth state, after our impression, the plate was entirely re-worked – a village has replaced the forest scene at the left, foliage in the lower left corner was reduced. The sixth and seventh states are posthumous.

Claude made his etchings as original works, with preparatory drawings; the preparatory drawing for The Country Dance is incised for transfer (at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford). The theme of a country dance was used by Claude throughout his life, appearing in the closely related etching La Danse Villageoise (M. 20), and also in several drawings and paintings.

claudedetail

Claude, The Country Dance – detail

 

The Rat Catcher

Thursday, April 25th, 2013
rembrandtrat

Rembrandt – The Rat Catcher

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669

The Rat Catcher 1632

etching; 140 x 125 mm (5 1/2 x 4 7/8 inches)

Bartsch 121, White/Boon third (final) state (of three); Hind 97

watermark

double-headed eagle (Hinterding, vol. 2, p. 109, variant A.a.b, vol. 3, p. 177 ill.)

provenance

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London (their stock nos. in pencil on verso C 14174 and C 30912)

private collection; sale, Sothebys, London, March 19, 2013, lot 52

A fine, early impression of this rare print; in excellent condition with small margins all round.

The first state of this print (before the shading to the right of the box of rat poison the boy is holding) is known in only two impressions; the second state (with the shading on the box but before additional shading in the foliage over the rat killers head) is known in one impression (Rothschild Collection, Paris). The plate is not in existence.

The watermark in this impression is known to Hinterding only in the unique second-state impression in the Rothschild collection in the Louvre; this confirms that this is indeed an early pull from the plate in its final state.

Rembrandts Rat Catcher is composed of elements he used earlier, e.g., the pedlar himself was after the Man with Hands Behind His Back (Bartsch 135) of 1631; and the man in the house resembles bearded characters in Rembrandt paintings of the period. The lightly etched landscape and farmhouse in the distance create a sense of depth, and represent a rather rare appearance of landscape for Rembrandt in the 1630s.

The rat catcher was frequently depicted by artists before Rembrandt, and even more frequently after Rembrandts version, including many copies clearly derived from Rembrandts composition.

rembrandtdetail

Rembrandt – The Rat Catcher – detail

 

Evening Wind

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Hopper_EveningWind_ (3)

Edward Hopper

1882 Nyack New York 1967

Evening Wind 1921

etching on wove paper; 6 7/8 x 8 1/4 inches (sheet: 9 1/2 x 10 5/8 inches)

signed in pencil at lower right Edward Hopper; annotated by the artist on verso:

etching $35 / The Evening Wind / Edward Hopper /3 Wash. Square / New York

Levin 77; Zigrosser 9

provenance

private collection

Notes:

In a footnote to Zigrosser’s The Etchings of Edward Hopper he refers to Evening Wind as having seven states; this is corroborated by the Philadelphia Museum web site which shows their seven states of The Evening Wind (Zigrosser was curator of prints at Philadelphia). These may be progress proofs, one to a state; we have not encountered other proof states of the print, and know of no definitive documentation of the states of Hopper prints. In all likelihood, then, our impression is of the definitive state. The drawing for the print is at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Gail Levin, in her Edward Hopper: The Complete Prints, writes that his later etchings were often carefully worked out in preliminary drawings, and notes “The evolution of Evening Wind to etching from preparatory drawing has meant a sharper focus on the nude woman in the foreground through elimination of the distracting definition of background details…” (p. 12). The basic composition from the drawing, and through the states, however, was unchanged.

LAbside de Notre-Dame The Apse of Notre-Dame, Paris, 3rd State, 1854

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

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Charles Meryon

1821 Paris 1868

LAbside de Notre-Dame The Apse of Notre-Dame, Paris 1854

etching with engraving and drypoint on thin laid paper; 163 x 300 mm (6 7/16 x 11 3/4 inches)

annotated in pencil at lower left B. 50 [!] 1e non termine

Burty 52; Delteil 38 third state (of eight); Schneiderman 45 third state (of nine)

watermark

CONTRIBUTIONS DIRECTES

provenance

mile Galichon (1829-1875), Paris (Lugt 856; cf. also Lugt 1058f, which mentions his posthumous 1875 sale of Meryon.)

his sale, Paris (expert Clment), May 10-14, 1875

Phillipe Burty (1830-1890), Paris (Lugt 413; cf. the entry Lugt 2071 which mentions the sales of Burtys collection)

his sale, Sothebys, London, April 27ff., 1876

possibly Francis Seymour Haden, London and Arlesford (cf. Lugt 1227 et al.; not stamped but annotated in pencil verso Haden)


Lugt refers to the sale (April 27 ff., Paris) of Burtys first state impression of LAbside; this is incorrect since the first state is unique (it is in the National Gallery, with an extensive provenance not including Burty); quite certainly Lugt is referring to our impression (which is also incorrectly noted as a first state in pencil on the recto, lower left). (Lugt: Dans cette vente figurait son uvre exceptionnel de Meryon, 217 pices en tats varis, dont nous citons : L’Abside de Notre-Dame, 1r t. 17….)

Phillipe Burty was an eminent art critic and collector; he was among the first to recognize the genius of Meryon, and wrote the first catalogue raisonne of his work.

Burty wrote of LAbside: “The view of Notre-Dame…is a magisterial sight. The church of Notre Dame seems to have exerted a great attraction on the dreamy spirit of the artist. It has dictated to a poet [Victor Hugo] one of the beautiful books of our generation; it has inspired in Meryon his most beautiful plate.”

Le jour enfin parat (Day Appears at Last)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
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Redon – Le jour enfin parat

Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Le jour enfin parat, lithograph, 1896, signed in pencil upper left, plate 24 from the portfolio The Temptation of Saint Anthony, Troisieme Serie, on chine appliqu. Printed by Vollard, Paris, published by Auguste Clot, Paris, edition of 50. Reference: Mellerio 157, only state. In good condition, slight light staining, a small repaired tear bottom and right edges, 10 1/2 x 6 3/8″ , the sheet: 22 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches.

A fine impression of this iconic portrait.

The printing at the bottom of Le Jour: Le jour enfin parat . . . et dans le disque mme du soleil, rayonne la face du Jsus-Christ (Day Appears At Last, . . . and in the Very Disk of the Sun Shines the Face of Jesus Christ).

From Artists and Their Prints: Masterworks from the Museum of Modern Art: Odilon Redon, an individualist who believed in the superiority of the imagination over observation of nature, rejected the Realism and Impressionism of his contemporaries in favor of a more personal artistic vision. After a discouraging experience studying academic painting in Paris, he returned to his hometown of Bordeaux, where he began making etchings in 1864. Later, returning to Paris, he was encouraged by a fellow artist to try lithography and was introduced to Lemercier, a renowned Parisian workshop. He soon discovered that the unique qualities of this technique enabled him to achieve infinite gradations of tone, fine-line drawing, and rich depictions of light and dark. Also, through the possibility of editioning, he found a vehicle for broadly distributing the intimate imagery of his drawings.

During his lifetime, Redon made close to thirty etchings and two hundred lithographs, working almost exclusively in black and white. His reputation flourished, due, in part, to the availability of his prints. He became a celebrated figure in fin-de-sicle Paris, greatly admired by artists and writers of the Symbolist movement with whom he shared an enthusiasm for the fantastic, mystical, and sublime forces found beneath the surface of everyday life. Using nature as his starting point, Redon imagined new worlds through his enigmatic creations, such as The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity.

The majority of Redon’s lithographs are found in albums based on thematic or literary subjects. He was greatly inspired by such authors as Edgar Allan Poe and Gustave Flaubert, whose unusual sensibilities were well suited to the artist’s own. Redon was so moved by Flaubert’s 1874 prose poem The Temptation of Saint Anthony that he created three separate projects based on it.

Harper Montgomery and Sarah Suzuki, Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 48

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Redon – Le Jour – Detail

Quirinal Hill

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Quirinal Hill, etching, 1745, [signature lower right, enumeration of locations in the print at margin bottom, in the plate]. 1745. Focillon 95, Wilton-Ely 98. From the Varie Veduti di Roma Anticha e Moderna. In compromised condition: laid down, light stain, tear bottom right, trimmed to or just within plate mark, rubbed area upper right near edge). 5 x 7 1/2 inches.

A fair impression.

The Quirinal Hill consists of: 1. Pontifical Palace, 2. Church of St. Mary Magdalen, 3. Palazzo della Consulta, 4. Palazzo Rospigliosi, 5. Pontifical Stables and Barracks of the Bodyguard. The Pontifical Palace is today the residence of the President of the Italian Republic.

The small views of Rome of the Varie Vedute, made at the outset of Piranesis career, were not re-issued in later editions of his collected works, since the plates were sold directly to publishers by Piranesi. They were used to illustrate guidebooks to Rome until the mid-1760?s.

Veduta dell’interno del Tempio di S. Stefano Rotondo (Interior view of the Church of San Stefano Rotondo)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Veduta dell’interno del Tempio di S. Stefano Rotondo (Interior view of the Church of San Stefano Rotondo), etching, 1756. First Edition, from the series Le Antichita Romane, Bouchard e Gravier 1756, section XXV, figure 2 [signed, numbered and titled in the plate]. References: Focillon 192, Wilton-Ely 327. In good condition, with margins, 5 1/2 x 8, the sheet 6 1/4 x 9 inches.

A very good impression, printed on a stiff cream laid paper.

Piranesi developed the plates of the Antichita Romane (Roman Antiquities) after eight years of careful study and excavation. His aim, as with all his archaeological publications, was both to record the vanishing past, and to inspire designers to emulate these past achievements.

 

The Pool

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
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James McBey, The Pool, 1914

James McBey (1883-1959), The Pool, etching and drypoint, 1914, signed in pen lower right and numbered (I) lower left margin. Reference: Hardie 150. [also signed and dated June 1914 in the plate lower right]. From the edition of 50 (plus proofs). In very good condition, with margins, printed on laid white paper, 9 1/2 x 14 1/8, the sheet 11 1/8 x 15 5/8 inches.

Provenance: Harris Whittemore (Lugt 1384a, with his stamp lower left recto]

A fine impression, with much burr from the drypoint work.

McBey made about nine states of one impression each in the evolution of The Pool; most changes were minor, and the last few were touches of drypoint on and under some of the barges, and on some of the people; he also burnished marks in the water in his later proof impressions. This impression is numbered I, from the edition of fifty.

This is the Pool of London, from a warehouse near the south end of the Tower Bridge, looking toward warehouses and wharves on the north bank. It is not the Thames of Whistler, calm, unruffled, but a river of bustling activity.

Martin Hardie wrote, comparing The Pool to McBey’s The Lion Brewery, “Both have made record prices for the artist’s work in the saleroom….Decorative, attractive, masterly though [The Lion Brewery] it be, I cannot allow, for a moment that it has the vital significance and atmosphere of The Pool. In this latter plate you find, stronger and intensified, the feeling of life and movement that began with the Moroccan Set; and movement is a very subtle thing to capture in a network of etched lines.”

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McBey – The Pool, detail

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McBey, The Pool, detail

Pyramid of Gaius Cestius near Porta S. Paolo

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Piramide di Caio Costio Vicino alla Porta S. Paolo (Pyramid of Gaius Cestius near Porta S. Paolo), etching, 1745, signature lower left. Amidei, 1745. Focillon 110, Wilton-Ely 54. From the First Edition of Varie Veduti di Roma Anticha e Moderna. In very good condition, with wide margins, marginal soiling and slight fraying left edge well outside of image, ink number upper right outside of plate mark.

A fine fresh impression; monumental in scope although in a small-scale format (5 x 7 inches). With margins (sheet is 8 7/8 x 13 inches).

The first edition is before the numbers (Tom II. pag 19) upper left and the number upper right (72) as pictured in Wilton-Ely (his illustration is from the Venuti edition of this plate, published in 1763).

The small views of Rome of the Varie Vedute, made at the outset of Piranesi’s career, were not re-issued in later editions of his collected works, since the plates were sold directly to publishers by Piranesi. They were used to illustrate guidebooks to Rome until the mid-1760’s.

 

Veduta dell Interno del Pantheon (Interior View of the Pantheon)

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Veduta dell Interno del Pantheon (Interior View of the Pantheon), etching, 1756. First Edition, from the series Le Antichita Romane, Bouchard e Gravier 1756. References: Focillon 172, Wilton-Ely 307. In excellent condition, 5 1/2 x 10 1/2, the sheet 10 1/2 x 15 5/8 inches.

A fine impression, printed on a cream laid paper (with the watermark double circle with fleur de lys and initials CB, Robison’s watermarki 33, as found in presentation volumes of the Vedute).

Piranesi developed the plates of the Antichita Romane (Roman Antiquities) after eight years of careful study and excavation. His aim, as with all his archaeological publications, was both to record the vanishing past, and to inspire designers to emulate these past achievements.

 

Veduta Interna Del Pronao del Pantheon

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), etching, Veduta Interna Del Pronao del Pantheon, 1756, First Edition, from the series Le Antichita Romane, Bouchard e Gravier 1756. Reference: Focillon 171, Wilton-Ely 306. In very good condition, with full margins, 5 1/4 x 8, the sheet 8 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches.

A fine delicately printed impression printed on medium cream laid paper.

An interior view of the porch of the Pantheon.

Piranesi developed the plates of the Antichita Romane (Roman Antiquities) after eight years of careful study and excavation. His aim, as with all his archaeological publications, was both to record the vanishing past, and to inspire designers to emulate these past achievements.

 

Le Balcon sur la Mer

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

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Jean-Emile Laboureur (1877-1943), Le Balcon sur la Mer, engraving, 1923, signed in pencil lower right and numbered (49/57) [also initialed in the plate lower right]. Reference: Sylvain Laboureur 274, third state (of 3), from the total printing in all states of about 75. In very good condition, the full sheet, 77 7/8 x 8 1/4, the sheet 18 7/8 x 12 inches.

Provenance: Henri M. Petiet (cf. Lugt 2021a, with his stamp verso)

A fine impression of this iconic Laboureur print, printed in black on a greenish laid paper, with unidentified initials watermark.

This composition is said to depict the wife of the artist, at the balcony of their house at Croisic. But although Laboureur here depicts his wife looking out the window of their house, he has also adopted a motif made famous earlier by Picasso (e.g., Nature Morte Devant une Fenetre, 1919), and earlier by Matisse in countless compositions of wrought-iron balconies looking out through a window on the sea, with and without women standing in front of them. Laboureur’s composition was used, in reproduction, on postcards advertising exhibits in Boston and Paris, and the print has been shown in dozens of exhibitions in France, London, and the U.S.

 

Tree, Manhattan

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
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Martin Lewis – Tree, Manhattan

Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Tree, Manhattan, drypoint, 1930, signed in pencil lower right [also signed in the plate lower left]. Reference: McCarron 87, only state; 91 recorded impressions including 10 trial proofs; intended edition 100. In excellent condition, with full margins, 12 5/8 x 9 3/4, the sheet 16 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches.

A very fine fresh impression, printed in black ink on a cream laid paper.

Tree, Manhattan is a tour de force print demonstrating Lewis’s mastery of drypoint. Hues range from the rich black of the figures in the lower left to the near-white of the fire and the windows in the buildings in the background. The sky is a variegated pattern of intricate cross-hatchings, so it is always alive; a searchlight cuts through the sky toward the left. The great tree is bare, its branches filling the sky; somehow clotheslines have been attached to high reaches of its trunk, thereby tying the tree to its Manhattan empty lot setting.

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Margin Lewis, Tree, Manhattan -detail

 

 

Wagon Crossing a Bridge

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
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Feininger, Wagon Crossing a Bridge

Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), Wagon Crossing a Bridge (Wagen auf einer Brucke), woodcut, c. 1941, signed in pencil lower left, with the artists work number lower center (1867). Reference: Prasser W 82, only state. In very good condition, with margins, 3 1/2 x 4 3/4, the sheet 4 7/8 x 6 7/8 inches.

A fine fresh proof impression of this intricate cubist composition, printed in black ink on a thin Japan wove paper.

Prasser notes a few proofs, on various papers, some unsigned. This print was included as No. 5 of the portfolio Ten Woodcuts by Lyonel Feininger, 1941, edition of 30; as with many of his small woodcuts, Feininger also used this as a letterhead. The edition was printed on thin laid paper; it is clear that this is a proof, on a paper typically used by Feininger for proofs.

Provenance: ex Collection: Dr. Ferrand Whaley Hudig (1883-1937, Netherlands), distinguished professor of art history and museum curator, Amsterdam. I am grateful to Jean-Francois Deslarzes, grandson of Dr. Hudig, for this attribution.