Auctions | September 2, 2016

Swann Galleries Begins Season with Important Prints & Drawings by Dalí, Manet & Picasso

53_Manet copy.jpgNew York— On Thursday, September 22, Swann Galleries will inaugurate their Autumn 2016 season with a sale 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, featuring American and European masters from the last 200 years.

            The top lot of the sale is a Fernand Léger pencil study for his 1924 painting La Lecture, in the collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris. This eponymous preparatory drawing (estimate: $100,000 to $150,000) is an example of what the artist called ‘object figures.’ Two other studies for the painting are in museum collections. Another work in the sale related to an important painting is ?douard Manet's

L'Exécution de Maximilien de Mexique, lithograph, 1868 ($50,000 to $80,000). Manet created four oil paintings on the subject, currently in institutional collections.

            There is an impressive run of works by Salvador Dalí, including two of the top three lots for the sale that exemplify the artist's grotesque yet meticulous style. The Reality of a Dream, 1960, ($80,000 to $120,000), a pen and sepia ink drawing, is reminiscent of Dalí’s 1940 oil painting Daddy Longlegs of the Evening-Hope!, now in the Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida. Another Dalí pen and sepia ink drawing from the same year, Landscape with a Surrealist Head and Standing Figure, is estimated at $50,000 to $80,000.

Collectors of Joan Miró will be pleased by myriad offerings, led by Le Pitre Rose, a 1974 etching, and Le Grand Sorcier, an aquatint etching from 1968, both estimated at $35,000 to $50,000. Over a dozen more of the artist’s lithographs and etchings, spanning 1938-1981, round out the selection.

Also included is an excellent edition of the color lithograph Le Chapeau ?pinglé, Deuxième Planche by Pierre-August Renoir, 1898 ($30,000 to $50,000). This print is one of the largest Renoir produced, and the current edition is among the richest in color.

In addition to works on paper, the auction will include a run of iconic terre de faïence ceramics by Pablo Picasso, including Bearded Man, 1953, and Laughing-eyed Face, 1969, ($20,000 to $30,000 and $25,000 to $35,000, respectively). Further highlights by Picasso include Portrait de Jacqueline en Carmen (L’Espagnole), color linoleum cut, 1963, and Jeunesse, lithograph, 1950 (both $35,000 to $50,000).

            Among American highlights is a broad offering of Regionalist prints, including an extensive collection of Thomas Hart Benton lithographs. From the urban landscape, there is a run of early twentieth century prints depicting the ever-changing New York City, featuring several of Martin Lewis's best-known prints, including Relics (Speakeasy Corner), drypoint, 1928 ($30,000 to $50,000). Also by American artists are rare prints by George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, James A.M. Whistler and Grant Wood.

Representing Mexico are prints by Rufino Tamayo, a contemporary of Diego Rivera who pioneered a printing technique called “Mixografía” that allowed the artist to incorporate solid materials and textural dimension to a print. Examples of this medium include Busto en Rojo, 1984, ($4,000 to $6,000), and Hombre I and Mujercita, both 1981, together estimated at $2,000 to $3,000.

An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $40 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Todd Weyman at 212-254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at

Image: Lot 53: ?douard Manet, L'Exécution de Maximilien, lithograph, 1868. Estimate $50,000 to $75,000.