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Exceptional Old Master through Modern prints featured in Swann Galleries' April 25 auction
George Bellows, Dempsey and Firpo, lithograph, 1923-24. Estimate $60,000 to $90,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- On Wednesday, April 25 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 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).

Other Old Masters include Martin Schongauer’s The Adoration of the Magi, engraving circa 1475, one of only six to come to auction 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’s 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’s 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 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).

The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 25.

The works of art will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries on Friday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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