Auctions | February 26, 2018

Hopper, Modigliani & Monet in Swann's Prints & Drawings Auction

62-Monet copy.jpgNew York— On Tuesday, March 13, Swann Galleries will offer a superlative auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, featuring original artworks and scarce multiples by some of the most influential artists of the last 200 years.

Following the house’s record-breaking autumn sale of Edward Hopper’s 1923 print The Lonely House for $317,000, Swann will offer an even more scarce etching by the master: House by a River, 1919, an early example of his theme of isolation. Only one other copy of this print, which depicts a still-extant house in Nyack, NY, has appeared at auction in the last 30 years. The work carries an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.

Hopper’s mentor Martin Lewis is well represented in the auction with a selection of the gritty urban views for which he is known. Bedford Street Gang, 1935, leads the pack at $15,000 to $20,000. Additional highlights include an extremely rare circa 1930 charcoal drawing titled New York Nocturne, previously in the collection of the artist’s widow, with an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, and the scarce etching Manhattan Lights, 1931 ($12,000 to $18,000).  

From the same period comes the complete set of Six American Etchings, Series I, 1924, published as a promotion for subscribers of the New Republic, with works by Peggy Bacon, Ernest Haskell, Hopper, John Marin, Hayes Miller and John Sloan. This set includes Hopper’s Night Shadows, which is often removed from the group ($30,000 to $50,000).

The auction is distinguished by an array of unique works by notable artists. An exceptionally early drawing by Claude Monet of Maison au toit de chaume, Gainneville, 1857 (when the artist was only 16), carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. Two figurative pencil drawings by Amadeo Modigliani will also be offered: Femme nue, trois quarts, debout, circa 1915, and Femme nue, circa 1915 ($50,000 to $80,000 and $40,000 to $60,000, respectively). Georges Braque is represented by a gouache and watercolor painting, Femme au bicyclette, 1920-22 ($20,000 to $30,000. A Futurist-cum-Deco painting by Fortunato Depero of New York, 1930, will be offered with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

Two bronze sculptures by Henry Moore make a rare auction appearance. Half Figure, 1952, from an edition of only five, carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000, while the smaller, seated Woman, 1961, is valued between $15,000 and $20,000.

Interest in Latin American art has led to a larger offering of works by popular artists from the region, including José Clemente Orozco, David A. Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo, as well as paintings by early Mexican modernists. An especially rich offering of prints by Diego Rivera includes each of the three works regarded as the finest lithographs by artist, all from 1932. Zapata, a portrait of the revolutionary, carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, while Frutos de la Escuela is valued at $20,000 to $30,000. The scarce El sueño (La noche de los pobres) has been seen at auction only ten times in the last 30 years ($20,000 to $30,000).

Pablo Picasso is well represented with prints, ceramics and even a drawing. The selection is led by the elegant lithograph La Colombe, 1949, with an estimate of $50,000 to $80,000. Fine terre de faïence ceramic works include an unusually tall partially glazed vase with anthropomorphic forms and a pitcher titled Flower Women, 1948 (each $20,000 to $30,0000). Finally, Profile d’Homme Vert, 1956, in striking green crayon is valued at $8,000 to $12,000.

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at

Image: Lot 62: Claude Monet, Maison au toit de chaume, Gainneville, pencil, 1857. Estimate $25,000 to $35,000.