Nude With Furniture

John Sloan (1871-1954), Nude with Furniture, etching, 1931, signed in pencil lower right, titled lower middle, annotated “100 proofs” lower left. Reference: Morse 252, third state (of 3). From the edition of only 45 printed. Printed by Peter Platt, with his characteristic drying tack holes all around, in very good condition, the full sheet with deckle edges; printed on a cream wove paper with the Van Gelder Zonen Holland and the JP in a square watermark, 5 x 4, the sheet 12 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches.

A fine impression.

Sloan routinely wrote “100 proofs” on many of his prints, regardless of the actual number of impressions printed. In this case only a total of 45 impressions were printed in the definitive state, 25 by his favored printer Peter Platt and 20 by Ernest Roth.

Sloan wrote of this print: “This etching seems to catch the ‘ethereal’ quality of flesh amid furniture and draperies, although I must admit I had no such purpose in mind.” His wife Helen Sloan Farr wrote: “The furniture in the back ground was ‘invented.’ The Windsor chair was made by one of his cabinetmaker Sloan ancestors.”

At this stage of his career Sloan had seen the Rembrandts and other old master paintings now-installed in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and was experimenting with new approaches to painting, including the use of a cross-hatching technique to achieve varying tonalities. His etchings of nudes, such as Nude with Furniture, were done as part of this evolving aesthetic, at a time when Sloan was perhaps more focused on being a fine artist than portraying local landmarks (though of course these nudes were landmarks of a sort).