The Three Graces (Drei Grazien)


Lovis Corinth, , drypoint, 1920, signed, titled, dated in pencil lower margin. Reference: Schwarz 394, second state of two, edition of 30, on Japan paper, with margins, 13 1/2 x 10 3/8 (the sheet 19 x 12 7/8 inches). Published by Wohlgemuth and Libner, Berlin.  In generally good condition apart from printer’s creases at bottom and top margins, a thin spot at top margin, archival mounting.

A superb, richly printed and inked impression.

By the late 1890’s Corinth (1858-1925) had achieved major stature in Germany as a modernist artist; he took part in the first Berlin Secession exhibit in 1899, and in 1901 had a one man show with the eminent dealer Cassirer. In the first decade of the 20th Century he was known as the foremost German “Impressionist” after Lieberman.  After a stroke in 1911 he became more “Expressionist” in his manner of painting and printmaking.  The work of his last 6 years (during which he made The Three Graces) was a climactic period for him, earning the brilliant portraits and landscapes of this period branding as “degenerate” by the Nazis.

The Three Graces were mythological goddesses – Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia – presiding over dining, dance, and entertainment.