On Tuesday, 27 September, 2011 Sothebys
London will present its biannual auction of Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints. The sale will present an exciting opportunity to acquire important and rare-to-market works in a variety of categories by a range of artists. Works by Dürer, including two of the most important engravings he made, and some outstanding Rembrandts will highlight the Old Masters section. Desirable Modern and Contemporary works by Miró, Degas, Picasso and Warhol, among others, which will also be featured, demonstrate the lasting and innovative use of print by artists for over 500 years. The auction contains 181 lots and is estimated to reach between £1,500,000 2,300,000.
Old Master Prints
Petra Kwan of Sothebys London Prints Department said Dürer is represented in the sale by two of his master engravings from the years 1513-1514, his most fruitful period for the medium, during which he concentrated on the art of engraving to the exclusion of painting and woodcut printing. Throughout this period he produced a dozen works and among these, St Jerome in his Study, estimated £70,000-90,000 and Melencolia, estimated £50,000-80,000, are widely acknowledged as his finest and represent the pinnacle of his achievement in printmaking.
Rembrandt is represented in the auction by a very fine and atmospheric impression of the first state of Faust, estimated £50,000-70,000, also known as the Alchemist at Work. The piece has sparked debate for over 300 years concerning its iconography and treatment of the subject. In addition a number of emotive self-portrait etchings are offered, providing the opportunity to acquire perhaps the most personal and intimate images that Rembrandt created.
The modern section of the sale includes ten of Picassos 15 Saltimbanque Suite etchings. These are to be highlighted by Le Repas frugal, estimated £50,000-70,000, which was made during his Blue Period and encapsulates Picassos mastery of the technique and powerful iconography at such an early stage in his printmaking career.
A number of artists proofs by Joan Miró illustrate his collaboration with the famous French printmaker Fernand Mourlot. Acquired directly from Mourlot by the present owner, this stunning group, estimated £15,000-20,000, is fresh to the market and includes a preparatory pencil drawing from 1966 and its accompanying lithograph. This group includes unique working proofs highlighting the collaboration between Miró and Mourlot.
The Contemporary Section
The Contemporary section includes some of Andy Warhols most famous works, such as Marilyn, Cow, and a number from the Campbells Soup series. Produced in 1972, Mao, estimated £20,000-30,000, is widely considered to be one of the most iconic works in Warhols printed oeuvre. The image symbolises Maos absolute political and cultural power. Other highlights include a selection of striking works by Roy Lichtenstein such as Painting Series: Two Paintings: Dagwood, estimate £12,000-18,000 and some impressive pieces by Richard Hamilton.