Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Minotaure aveugle guidé par Marie-Thérèse au Pigeon dans une Nuit étoilée'
from the 'Suite Vollard, 1934
Aquatint, scraper, burnisher and burin.
Bloch 225; Baer 437 fourth and final state, IV.B.c (of IV.B.d.); S.V. 97; HP 383 Signed in pencil.
An impression from the edition of 50, also called the deluxe edition or the large margin edition,
with very nice variegations of blacks.
Inscribed '383' in pencil lower left corner.
Image: 24.9 x 34.6 cm, paper: 50.5 x 38.5 cm
Price: USD 190,000 (plus any applicable taxes)
La Suite Vollard stands as testament to Picasso’s genius and is widely regarded as one of the greatest achievements in print of the 20th century. Made up of one hundred subjects, the suite is named for its publisher Ambroise Vollard and is a survey of Picasso’s preoccupations from 1930 to 1937. It is a precursor to the harrowing imagery of La Guernica and the symbolism of Picasso’s other great etching, La Minotauromachie.
The set most certainly came about as part of an exchange agreed between Picasso and Vollard: a Renoir and a Gauguin for Picasso, in return for 100 etched plates and the rights to publish them. Conceived in 1934, the deal was finally struck in 1936 and Picasso retrospectively chose 97 plates from those he had produced since 1930. He added a further three portraits of Vollard in 1937 to bring the group to 100 prints. The set was printed by the master print-maker Roger Lacourière, with most of the intaglio prints being etchings or drypoints on Montval paper specially watermarked either ‘Vollard’ or ‘Picasso’. Lacourière also taught Picasso ‘sugar-lift’ aquatint which allowed the artist to create richly textured areas such as that to be seen to stunning effect in 'Minotaure aveugle guidé par Marie-Thérèse au Pigeon dans une Nuit etoilée', which Frederick Mulder are delighted to offer here.
Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Henri M. Petiet, Paris (acquired from the Vollard Estate) Estate of Henri M. Petiet, Paris
A very fine impression strongly printed with full margins all around - all margins deckled edge. With strong platemark. In perfect condition
Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944), The Sick Child. I, 1896
Lithograph printed in colour
Schiefler 59; Woll 72 variant X (plates A2, B, C and F) Signed in pencil
Image Size: 41.6 x 56.2cm (16.4 x 22.1in), sheet size : 53.7 x 69.2cm (21.1 x 27.2in)
Price: USD 280,000 (plus any applicable taxes)
Printed from four stones. With the keystone in the second state printed in black and the printed signature, and with the three colour stones B, C and F respectively being printed in grey, yellow, and red. This is Woll's variant X.
The title 'The Sick Child' is given to six paintings and a number of lithographs, drypoints and etchings completed by Edvard Munch over a period of more than 40 years. It is said that each records a moment before the death of his older sister, Sophie from tuberculosis aged 14. Munch also lost his mother to tuberculosis. In the first Sick Child painting 1886-86, Sophie is shown on her deathbed accompanied by a dark-haired, grieving woman assumed to be her aunt, Karen. Alternatively, as in the lithograph shown here, only a powerful close up of Sophie's head can equally be represented.
None of the stones used for the lithographs 'The Sick Child. I' are in existence; they were probably destroyed shortly after they had been used. The only impressions therefore known of this subject are those printed by Clot, and it seems likely that all the impressions were pulled in Paris during 1896 and 1897.
The texture of the black stone in the lithographs may be accounted for by Michael Parke-Taylor's suggestion that Munch may have placed his transfer paper over fabric, as he did with other lithographic plates also prepared in 1896, e.g. 'Attraction' and 'Separation'.
Paul Herrmann's account of the process of printing 'The Sick Child. I' is often quoted: "I wanted Clot to print for me, but I was told: 'Can't be done, Mr Munch has already reserved time.' The stones with the great head were already lying side by side, nicely arranged in a row and ready for printing. And then Munch arrived, stood in front of the stones, peered at them through narrowed eyes, and conducted the process with one finger: 'Print .. Grey, green, blue, brown.' And then he opened his eyes and said to me: 'Come on let's have a drink ..' And the printer went on printing until Munch returned and blindly conducted the procedure in the same way: 'Yellow, pink, red .' And this went on a couple of times more ."
The 'Sick Child' theme became for the artist a means to record both his feelings of despair and guilt that he had been the one to survive and to confront his feelings of loss for his loved ones. All of the paintings and the graphic versions are considered significant to Munch's ouvre, with Munch himself saying he considered them his most important work: "I consider the 'Sick Child' [i.e. the 1885- 86 oil] to be a pioneer work - now my art could assert itself, find its own way. Most of what I have done since is a result of this picture.".
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