William Zorach (1887-1966), Pegasus, 1921, linocut, signed in pencil lower right. In very good condition, on thin cream laid paper with margins, 4 1/2 x 4 7/8, the sheet 8 x 7 1/2 inches, archival mounting.

A fine clear black impression.

Provenance: Heald Collection.

Pegasus is of course the winged horse of Greek mythology; among other stories, the young warrior Bellerophon rode Pegasus when he went off to slay the monster Chimaera, and after this success he rode Pegasus as he successfully destroyed a series of monsters. Pegasus is also the name of a constellation in the Northern Hemisphere.

Efram Burk, in his brilliant article on Zorach’s prints in the Print Quarterly (The Prints of William Zorach, December, 2002) conjectures that the rider in Zorach’s Pegasus might have represented a girl Zorach met while hiking in 1920; Zorach wrote that he had seen her riding, and he wrote her letters over a period of a decade.

Zorach studied modernist art in Paris in the years 1909-11, and was introduced to it as well through Marguerite Thompson, who met Matisse, Picasso, Zadkine, etc. in Paris at that time; Marguerite met Zorach in 1911 and they married in 1912.  Pegasus, one of his more abstract compositions, was created in Provincetown, in 1921.