Old Master Through Modern Prints: May 11, 2023 Auction Highlights

Lot 23: Albrecht Dürer, St. Jerome in his Study, engraving, 1514. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
Our Old Master Through Modern Prints sale will offer impressions spanning printmaking’s more than four hundred year history, including those rarely seen at auction. 
Our Old Master portion of the sale will revolve around scarce, tour de force impressions, such as the technically stunning Saint Jerome in His Study by Albrecht Dürer. This masterwork is a testament to Dürer’s virtuosity of fine linework and creation of textures, from the lion’s mane to the detailed grain of the wood paneled ceiling. We will follow this scene of somber study with fine examples of Rembrandt van Rijn’s light-hearted self-portraits, the etchings Self Portrait with Curly Hair and White Collar: Bust and Self Portrait in a Cap, Laughingalong with outstanding impressions of genre, Biblical scenes and landscapes by the Dutch master   
Lot 78: Rembrandt van Rijn, Self Portrait in a Cap, Laughing, etching, 1630Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.

Lot 204: Francisco José de Goya, Los Desastres de la Guerra, set of 40 aquatints with etching, the first edition in the original wrappers,  circa 1808-23. Estimate $30,00 to $50,000.

Perhaps the most impressive offering in our nineteenth century section is the original first edition of Francisco de Goya’s monumental Los Desastres de la Guerra. This lot, a set of 40 impressions, conveys Goya’s preoccupation with the violence and horror during the uprising and war following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814. We rarely see the first edition of Los Desastres de la Guerra with original wrappers at auction.   

While we will offer the mainstays invariably appearing in our twentieth century prints section, including a signed impression of Marc Chagall’s vibrant color lithograph, The Magic Flute, we are excited to follow up last year’s special section of works by Edward Hopper with a rare impression of Night Shadows. This etching is a dedicated proof printed by the artist before The New Republic edition of approximately 500. 

Lot 321: Edward Hopper, Night Shadows, etching, proof before the New Republic edition, 1921. Estimate $25,000 to $35,000.

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On the heels of our Surrealism and Dada offerings in our March sale, we anticipate active bidding for René Magritte’s color lithograph, Les Bijoux Indiscrets. This impression, among the small number first sold by the Associated American Artists to collectors in the United States, was published by Vingtième Siècle, Paris in a deluxe edition of 75 with the artist’s signature. The image of a disembodied hand with a face is emblematic and refers to Denis Diderot’s same-titled novel of 1748. In the novel, a sultan comes into possession of a magical ring that when pointed at a woman, forces her to reveal her sexual desires and history, in an indiscreet and humiliating manner. Magritte placing a face on the wrist instead of the conventional “bijoux” of a bracelet, ponders the duality of secrets hiding in plain sight, perhaps the meaning of “wearing one’s heart on their sleeve.” 

Lot 443: René Magritte, Les Bijoux Indiscrets, color lithograph, 1963. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.

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