Cows and Sugar Cane


George Biddle (1885-1973), Cows and Sugar Cane, 1928, lithograph, signed in pencil bottom right margin, titled and numbered bottom left margin [also signed and dated in the plate bottom left]. Reference: Pennigar 79, Trotter 45. From the edition of 55, on BFK RIVES wove paper (with their partial watermark), printed by George C. Miller. In excellent condition, the full sheet with wide margins (remains of old hinging margin corners verso), 11 9/16 x 7 3/4, the sheet 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches. Archival mounting (mylar corners on acid free board, glassine cover).

A fine black impression.

After Groton, Harvard College and Harvard Law (and several breakdowns) Biddle decided that a conventional career in law was not for him; he decided on art, went to Paris, worked with Mary Cassatt and familiarized himself with modernist currents in art (as well as more traditional European art).

After serving in WWI, and the dissolution of his marriage, he became interested in working outside of the European tradition (although his travels continued to include Europe, and he spent a period working under the influence of Jules Pascin in Paris in the mid-20’s).

Cows and Sugar Cane, like many of the Mexican and Haitian prints of the late ’20’s, seems to reflect Pascin’s influence, particularly in the modernistic flattening of the perspective and free placement of the animals, and also in the exacting lithographic lines more characteristic of drypoint (a favorite medium for Pascin) than lithography. Indeed, the black areas of the print have the character of drypoint burr.