Dürer Prints from the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Auction at Swann Galleries April 29


New York—Swann Galleries’ April 29 auction of Old Master Through Modern Prints offers examples from prominent collections, in three catalogues devoted to Old Master Prints, James A.M Whistler: Fine Prints from a Private Collection and 19th Century, American & Modern Prints.

Among the Old Masters is a choice selection of works by Albrecht Dürer, Property of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, sold to benefit the acquisitions fund. These include the engravings St. Jerome in Penitence, circa 1496-97 (estimate: $20,000 to $30,000); St. Eustace, circa 1501 ($40,000 to $60,000); St. Jerome in his Study, 1514 ($20,000 to $30,000) and Erasmus of Rotterdam, 1526 ($20,000 to $30,000).

Another exceptional engraving by Dürer is Melencolia I, 1514, considered one of the artist’s three meisterstiche, or master engravings ($100.000 to $150,000). Also estimated at $100,000 to $150,000 is Martin Schongauer’s engraving Christ Carrying the Cross: the Large Plate, circa 1480. Schongauer’s work paved the way for the success of subsequent printmakers and was profoundly influential to the generation of engravers who followed him, most notably Dürer.

There are also prints by Old Masters including Rembrandt van Rijn, Baccio Baldini (attributed to), Israel von Meckenem and Giovanni B. Piranesi.

The afternoon session of the sale opens with more than 90 prints by James A.M. Whistler from a private collection, offered in their own catalogue. This is the finest collection of Whistler prints ever to appear at auction. There are select examples of his exquisite Venice etchings, such as Nocturne: Palaces, 1879-80 ($40,000 to $60,000); The Two Doorways, 1879-80 ($20,000 to $30,000); Long Venice, 1879-80 ($15,000 to $20,000); and The Rialto, 1879-80 ($15,000 to $20,000).


Other subjects include The Pierrot, etching and drypoint, 1889, from his time in Amsterdam ($30,000 to $50,000) and Yellow House, Lannion, a color lithograph on vellum, drawn while traveling through Brittany in 1893 ($30,000 to $50,000).

There are outstanding examples of American prints from the 20th century, such as John Marin’s exceedingly scarce Woolworth Building (The Dance), etching and drypoint, 1913 ($70,000 to $100,000); Edward Hopper’s iconic Night Shadows, etching, 1921 ($30,000 to $50,000); George Bellows’s boxing scene, Preliminaries, lithograph, 1916 ($20,000 to $30,000); and Latin American artist Diego Rivera’s Fruits of Labor, lithograph, 1932 ($15,000 to $20,000).

Modern European works of note include The Magic Flute, color lithograph after Marc Chagall, 1967 ($30,000 to $50,000); George Braque’s Feuilles, Couleur Lumière, color lithograph on Arches, 1953-54 ($20,000 to $30,000); Pablo Picasso’s gold medallion, Horloge à la Langue, circa 1956 ($15,000 to $20,000); Henri Matisse’s Nu Debout au Peignoir, etching on Chine collé, 1929 ($15,000 to $20,000) and Georges Rouault’s Automne, color aquatint, 1938 ($15,000 to $20,000).

There are also mind-bending lithographs by M.C Escher, including Ascending and Descending, 1960 and Waterfall, lithograph, 1961 ($25,000 to $35,000 each).

The auction will take place on Wednesday, April 29, in two sessions starting at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

The works of art will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries on Friday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, April 25, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An illustrated catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at www.swanngalleries.com.

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 tweyman@swanngalleries.com.

Live online bidding is available via Invaluable.com.

First image: Albrecht Dürer, St. Eustace, circa 1501 (estimate: $40,000 to $60,000).

Second image: James A.M. Whistler, Yellow House, Lannion, color lithograph on vellum, 1893 ($30,000 to $50,000).