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Old Masters, Whistler, Renoir & Picasso among highlights of Swann Galleries Print Auction

Marc ChagallNew York City.- On Wednesday, April 25th Swann Galleries will auction a large and varied assortment of Old Master Through Modern Prints that features 40 exceptional etchings by Rembrandt, an impressive collection of American prints and drawings from a Virginia gentleman, and exquisite examples of modern European prints by some of the most significant artists working in the 19th and 20th centuries such as Chagall, Matisse, Renoir, Picasso and Whistler. The lots will be on view at the gallery from April 20th through April 24th. The sale opens with more than 200 Old Master prints – solidifying Swann’s position as the only U.S. auction house to devote sales to this material.
 
Among the Old Masters is a selection of 40 exceptional etchings by Rembrandt van Rijn, which include The Flight into Egypt: Altered from Seghers, etching, engraving and drypoint circa 1653, the only known time Rembrandt was known to reuse the plate of another artist, in this case, Hercules Seghers’ Tobias and the Angel ($60,000 to $90,000); a very rare first-state lifetime impression of Rembrandt’s portrait of his friend Jan Lutma, Goldsmith, etching and drypoint, 1656 ($200,000 to $300,000); and several self-portraits, including one with Plumed Cap and Lowered Shade, 1634 ($20,000 to $30,000); with Saskia, 1636 ($25,000 to $35,000); and Leaning on a Stone Sill, etching and drypoint, 1639 ($50,000 to $80,000).
 
George StubbsOther Old Masters include Martin Schongauer’s The Adoration of the Magi, engraving circa 1475, one of only six to come to 2auction in the past 25 years ($15,000 to $20,000); and several prints by Albrecht Dürer, among them The Babylonian Whore, woodcut, 1498 ($12,000 to $18,000); The Small Horse, engraving, 1505 ($15,000 to $20,000); and Melancolia I, engraving, 1514 ($20,000 to $30,000). Rounding out the Old Master highlights are etchings by Annibale Carracci, Hendrick Goltzius, Ferdinand Bol, Adriaen van Ostade, Giovanni Piranesi, Francisco Jose de Goya and George Stubbs’ A Lion Devouring a Horse, soft-ground etching and engraving, before 1788 ($40,000 to $60,000). The 19th-century prints section of the sale features a fine assortment of works by James A.M. Whistler, including a group of six etchings from his Jubilee / Naval Review Set. The artist created 12 etchings of the Naval Review celebrating the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1887, much in the way contemporary artists today are commemorating the diamond jubilee (60 years) of Queen Elizabeth II. This is the first time as many as six of these etchings are coming to auction as a group ($70,000 to $100,000). Another 19th-century highlight, and the image chosen to illustrate the cover of the catalogue, is a large, important color lithograph by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Enfants Jouant á la Balle, with fresh, strong colors, 1898-1900 ($50,000 to $80,000). Among the American prints in the sale are approximately 30 from the collection of a Virginia gentleman, who built his collection in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s—even acquiring some of them from Swann. His collection features an excellent impression of George Bellows’ celebrated lithograph of boxers Dempsey and Firpo, 1923-24 ($60,000 to $90,000); and Edward Hopper’s intimate East Side Interior, etching, 1922 ($50,000 to $80,000). Other American highlights include Childe Hassam’s Marie at the Window, 1923 ($18,000 to $22,000); Maurice B. Prendergast’s In the Garden, color monotype ($20,000 to $30,000); and a portfolio of Twelve Etchings by Paul Cadmus, one of 35 numbered copies from a total edition of 50, 1979 ($30,000 to $50,000). The sale concludes with excellent examples of European prints, such as Marc Chagall’s The Old Woman Mounted on the Ifrit’s Back, color lithograph, 1948 ($15,000 to $20,000); a deluxe edition of René Magritte’s Auvbe a l’Antipode, portfolio with seven pencil-signed etchings, 1966 ($30,000 to $50,000); and Pablo Picasso’s Françoise en Soleil, lithograph, 1946 ($25,000 to $35,000); Nature morte a la Pasteque, color linoleum cut, 1962 ($40,000 to $60,000); and an after print of Les Saltimbanques, color etching and aquatint, 1922 ($20,000 to $30,000).
 
Pierre Auguste RenoirSwann Galleries was founded in New York in 1941 by antiquarian book dealer Benjamin Swann as an auction house specializing in rare and antiquarian books. George Lowry acquired the business and became president in 1970 upon Mr. Swann`s retirement. At that time, a staff of four organized and conducted book auctions for a customer-base composed mainly of dealers. As the auction world opened to the general public, separate departments were established for different fields of collecting: first photographs, then autographs, and in the late 1980s-early 90s, prints and drawings and vintage posters. Swann is now a world leader in the auction market for works of art on paper. Nicholas Lowry joined Swann in 1995 as head of the Poster department. He was named Principal Auctioneer in 1998 and Vice-President in 2000. In January 2001, he assumed the title of President and took over day-to-day management of the company, which now has a staff of 30; George Lowry stepped up to the new title of Chairman. For over 25 years, Swann has been located on East 25th Street, just one block east of Madison Square Park, adjacent to the historic Murray Hill, Gramercy Park, and Flatiron districts, and right across town from Chelsea. The premises doubled in size in 1999 with the addition of a second gallery and salesroom. Visit the auction house’s website at http://www.swanngalleries.com

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