Auctions | October 13, 2014

Rare Old Master Prints & Modern Masterpieces at Swann Galleries Oct. 29 Sale


New York—On Wednesday, October 29, Swann Galleries will conduct an auction of Old Master Through Modern Prints with works by Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Munch, Picasso and more.

A choice selection of prints by the Old Masters features significant works by Albrecht Dürer, such as romantic images including Lady on Horseback and the Lansquenet, a dark and evenly-printed engraving circa 1497 (estimate: $20,000 to $30,000) and The Standard Bearer, engraving, circa 1500 ($6,000 to $9,000). St. Anthony Reading, a richly inked engraving from 1519 and The Harrowing of Hell, engraving, 1512 are examples of prints from the height of Dürer’s career ($40,000 to $60,000 and $6,000 to $9,000 respectively). Rounding out the selection is a 16th-century manuscript prayer book with approximately 20 engravings by, after or attributed to Dürer, Heinrich Aldegrever and others, all with detailed hand-coloring in watercolor and gouache.

A 1559 engraving after Hieronymus Bosch, Die Blau Schuyte (The Ship of Depravity), is one of only two impressions of the scarce print by the well-known Dutch artist to come to auction in the past 25 years ($40,000 to $60,000).


Excellent examples by Rembrandt van Rijn include his introspective Self Portrait in a Cap and Scarf with the Face Dark: Bust, etching, 1633 ($30,000 to $50,000). One of 30 self portraits Rembrandt etched, this image shows the artist at the age of 27, two years after he had moved to Amsterdam from Leyden to establish himself as a successful artist and months before he married Saskia van Uylenburgh. Other intimate portraits by Rembrandt include Bearded Man in a Furred Oriental Cap and Robe: The Artist’s Father, etching and drypoint, and The Artist’s Mother Seated, in an Oriental Headdress: Half Length, etching-both prints of the artist’s parents date from 1631 ($8,000 to $12,000 and $15,000 to $20,000, respectively)

Francisco José de Goya, who is considered both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the Modernists, features prominently in this auction with a number of important prints. Among these, the fifth edition of his Los Caprichos, a bound volume with 80 etchings with aquatint, 1799 ($15,000 to $20,000) and a complete set of Los Proverbios, with 18 aquatints with etching, circa 1824 ($8,000 to $12,000).

19th-century highlights include superb impressions of prints by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, James A.M. Whistler, ?douard Manet and James Jacques Tissot. An impression of Paul Gauguin’s scarce Nave Nave Fenua, a color woodcut on thin Japan paper, 1893-94 and works by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec round out selections from the late part of the century.

Among American Art highlights is a color woodcut on Japan paper from 1917 by Edna Boies Hopkins titled Mountain Women (Two Women in White on a Hill) ($15,000 to $20,000). The two women in the woodcut are Hopkins’ friends and fellow artists Ethel Mars and her lifelong partner Maud Quire, shown hiking together in Provence. Hopkins had taught Mars to make woodcuts, and Mars and Squire became part of Gertrude Stein’s circle in Paris and were immortalized in Stein’s Miss Furr and Miss Skeene, 1908-11.

There is a run of Martin Lewis’s celebrated NYC views, including two prints that have never been seen at auction before: Dock Workers Under the Brooklyn Bridge, aquatint and etching, 1916-18 ($3,000 to $5,000); and Interlude in the Heat Wave, etching, 1946, created from Lewis’s 89th Street studio in the Yorkville neighborhood of New York ($8,000 to $12,000).

Mexican muralist Diego Rivera’s Fruits of Labor, lithograph, 1932, is one of only 14 prints created during the artist’s career ($15,000 to $20,000).

Important modern European prints include Edvard Munch’s August Strindberg, lithograph, 1896 ($35,000 to $50,000), a brilliant, richly-inked impression of this portrait of the artist’s friend, a prominent Swedish playwright who also dabbled in painting and photography. Several large, colorful and romantic lithographs by Marc Chagall are also included. One, L’Oranger, 1975, was a gift from the artist to his doctor, Roger Boizard ($25,000 to $35,000).

The highest pre-sale estimate for an individual print is for Pablo Picasso’s Bacchanale au Taureau noir, a colorful and vibrant 1959 linoleum cut ($70,000 to $100,000). Other works by Picasso include  his Femmes d’Alger, d’après Delacroix, I, an extremely scare etching made in homage to Eugène Delacroix ($30,000 to $50,000).

The auction will take place on Wednesday, October 29, in two sessions starting at 10:30 a.m. and 
1:30 p.m.

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

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

Live online bidding is available via

First image: Pablo Picasso, Bacchanale au Taureau noir, color linoleum cut, 1959 (estimate: $70,000 to $100,000).

Second image: Rembrandt van Rijn, Self Portrait in a Cap and Scarf with the Face Dark: Bust, etching, 1633 ($estimate: $30,000 to $50,000).