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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Gallery News / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists

Mother's Day

Unlike Athena in Greek mythology and Sin in Milton's Paradise Lost, both of whom popped out of their father's foreheads in a moment of intense mental conception, and Eve, born of Adam's rib through direct divine intervention, most of us were born in the customary fashion, involving a prolonged stay inside the uterus of the woman who nourished us until we came into the world and who loved us, praised us, taught us, and worried about us thereafter. As soon as we become old enough to become conscious of our debt, we are taught to remember our mothers, especially on the day of the calendar devoted to rememberimg them and, whenever possible, to make a concrete sign of our appreciation for all that they have done for us. Normally this involves a gift, often flowers, a family outing, whenever possible, and a meal, hopefully at a restaurant so that the kids don't make a mess for Mom to clean up the next day. (I generalize from my own middle-class experience and my memories of trying to forget the meals that I attempted to cook and the messes I attempted to clean up after watching my mother gamely try to swallow some badly-executed attempt to transform a wish into a fact.) But since flowers quickly die and need to be thrown into the trash and since Americans are suffering an epidemic of obesity, we hereby offer some alternate thoughts for celebrating our annual tribute to our mothers. The 19 works below begin with four 15-color lithographs (at a special sale price for Mother's Day purchases each year) made by Maurice de Vlaminck, one of the original Fauves, in collaboration with Charles Sorlier, Marc Chagall's customary master-printer, three original lithographs by Marc Chagall, and two dry-points by Mary Cassatt, perhaps the most cherished creator of images of children among the Impressionists. For those whose gift preferences run to jewelry, we suggest lithographs by Magritte and Miró. We then skip back in time to a late 16th-century vision of the creation of the first mother, the motherless Eve, followed by a late 16th-century drawing showing the more customary birth of the Virgin Mary, a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer and a late 16th-century Flemish engraving each showing the Annunciation, followed by three engravings by other artists after Durer's engravings that show the Virgin and her child, and concluding with another mother, Venus, the goddess of love, dealing with her unruly child, Cupid, who seems to have just suffered the indignity of having a tv show about "his" 20th-century exploits pulled for yet another cops and crooks show.
Maurice de Vlaminck (French 1876-1958), Anemones (1955). 15-color lithograph after a painting, 1958. Edition: 2000 impressions executed in collaboration with Charles Sorlier at the Atelier Mourlot in Paris. Image size: 230x164mm. Price: $375.

Special sale price from now to May 17, 2009: $275.
Maurice de Vlaminck (French 1876-1958), China Asters (1955). 15-color lithograph after a painting, 1958. Edition: 2000 impressions executed in collaboration with Charles Sorlier at the Atelier Mourlot in Paris. Image size: 233x166mm. Price: $375.

Special sale price from now to May 17, 2009: $275.
Maurice de Vlaminck (French 1876-1958), Delphineums (1955). 15-color lithograph after a painting, 1958. Edition: 2000 impressions executed in collaboration with Charles Sorlier at the Atelier Mourlot in Paris. Image size: 233x166mm. Price: $375.

Special sale price from now to May 17, 2009: $275.
Maurice de Vlaminck (French 1876-1958), Flowers in a stoneware jug (1955). 15-color lithograph after a painting, 1958. Edition: 2000 impressions executed in collaboration with Charles Sorlier at the Atelier Mourlot in Paris. Image size: 233x166mm. Price: $375.

Special sale price from now to May 17, 2009: $275.
Marc Chagall (Russia, 1887-1985, France), Night in Paris (M. 96). Original color lithograph, 1954. 75 signed & numbered + 2500 unsigned impressions. Published in a special issue of Derrière le Miroir dedicated to Chagall's vision of Paris. Illustrated Marc Chagall: Bonjour Paris and Nice 1987. These lithographs are remarkable for the extraordinary intensity of their colors. Image size: 335x280mm. Price: $3250.
Marc Chagall (Russia, 1887-1985, France), The anemones (M. 730). Original color lithograph, 1974. 50 signed & numbered impressions + 10,000 impressions for Chagall Lithographe IV. Image size: 325x250mm. Price: $1,075.
Marc Chagall (Russia, 1887-1985, France), Lovers with bouquet (M. 281a). Original color lithograph, 1960. 100 numbered impressions + c. 2000 unsigned impressions for Chagall Lithographe I. There were also 40 signed and numbered impressions reserved for the artist. Image size: 325x250mm. Price: $1250.
Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926), Denise holding her child (B. 204 ii/ii). Original drypoint, c. 1905. Printed for the artist in 1923 by Delatre. One of the artist's most tender depictions of the bond between child and adult. A very fine impression on tannish-gray laid paper with an unreadable watermark: all lines print very clearly and there is strong contrast between the lines across the child's chest and Denise's hair and the background. Like all of Cassatt's drypoints, impressions of this image are scarce, and good impressions (such as this) are even scarcer. Three rust marks outside the platemark not affecting the image and invisible when matted. Image size: 209x146mm. Price: $6800.
Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926), Looking into the hand-mirror II (B. 202). Original drypoint, c. 1905. Only known state. One of her most delightful images. Image size: 200x140mm. Price: $6500.
Les bijoux indiscrets / The talkative jewels. Original color lithograph, 1963. 75 signed and numbered impressions, 20 HC impressions, and an edition of c. 2000 impressions published in the deluxe art review, XXe Siecle in 1963. This is his first lithograph, one of twenty lithographs and etcings he finished before his unexpected death in 1966. The work is illustrated in Gilbert Kaplan, ed. Surrealist Prints (NY: Abrams, 1997) and reproduced on the front cover of the catalogue raisonné of Magritte's prints, The Graphic Work of René Magritte, 1982. A very important print. Image size: 244x310mm. Price: $1850.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), L'anneau / The Ring (M. 305). Original color lithograph, 1961. 90 signed and numbered impressions on Rives BFK. Light mat burn in margins, not affecting image. A beautiful and uncommon image of Miró's abstract mode, here constructed from two of the lithographs in the 1961 Derrière le Miroir devoted to Miró's recent paintings (see below M. 301 and M. 302). Image size: 940x665mm. Price: $13,250.

The photograph, illuminated only by the ceiling spotlights at night in an otherwise dark space, is flatter than the true image.
Jan Sadeler (Antwerp, 1550-1600), Creation of the other animals and of man (TIB 7001: 015 i/ii). Engraving after Maarten de Vos, c. 1586. A very good impression on laid paper trimmed on or within the plate mark. Inscribed on the plate: "Genes. cap. j" (bottom left); "M. de Vos figur, I. Sadeler scalpt, excu" (bottom right ), "VI" (upper center). Published in Imago Bonitatis Illivs (1584). Eve, the first mother, was of course, herself a motherless child; her creation can be seen at left, where God pulls her out of Adam's sleeping body. Oddly enough, I am unaware of any works of art showing the birth of Cain or Abel. The engraving is actually a rectangle; the sides lifted up while I was photographing it. Image size: 191x252mm. Price: $1750.
Venetian School, late 16th century, The Birth of the Virgin. Pen and brown ink on thin laid paper. This seems to have been in a collector's album of drawings at one point: it is numbered 36 in ink upper right and attributed to Veronese in pencil under the drawing left of center. In the background, St. Anne reclines in a canopied bed attended by a servant while others clean up after the birth. In the foreground, another servant shows the infant Virgin to Joachim. Image size: 155x200mm. Price: $6500.
Albrecht Durer (Nuremburg, 1471-1528), The Annunciation to the Virgin (B. 19, Meder 128b, Strauss 139). Original woodcut, c. 1508. A good 16th century impression with thread margins outside the border. Although the border is beginning to chip, the block is still printing well. 126x97mm. Price: $6000.
Jan Sadeler (Dutch, 1550-1600), The Annunciation to the Virgin (TIB 7001:130 S2, Holl. 160). Engraving after Maarten de Vos (New Holl. de Vos 256 ii/ii), 1579. A very good impression on laid paper of the second state of two with the signature in the plate. Dated "1579" lower left; inscribed "M. DE VOS INVE / SADELER FECIT" lower right; "CVM GRAT. ET PRIVIL.S. CAES M." center. Trimmed on or within the platemark. Published by Sadeler as part of a series of 12 engravings depicting the youth of Christ. Image size: 187x130mm. Price: $1000.
Albrecht Durer (Nuremburg, 1471-1528), AFTER, Madonna with the Swaddled Infant (Bartsch 38, Strauss 94, Meder 40). Reverse copy of Durer's 1520 engraving executed by Jan Wierix (Antwerp, 1549-1618) c. 1563 (Maquoy-Hendrixx 1705). Heller notes the existence of twelve other copies. A beautiful impression on laid paper of one of Wierix' most successful recreations of a Durer masterpiece. The Wierix brothers were among the most technically-proficient engravers in Antwerp in the later 16th century. They chose to make engravings after Durer's masterpieces to prove their technical skills. Image size: 143x100mm. Price: $2500.
Albrecht Durer (Nuremburg, 1471-1528), AFTER, Madonna Nursing (Bartsch 36 copy 4, Strauss 91-reversed). Reverse copy of Durer's c. 1518 engraving. A very good 16th-scentury impression on laid paper of this work which is based upon one of Durer's late masterpieces. Heller notes that the work was copied by Wierix and 6 other engravers. Trimmed within the platemark. The engraver's initials MD are printed on the right corner of the stone with Durer's monogram. size: 113x72mm. Price: $1600.
Albrecht Durer (Nuremburg, 1471-1528), AFTER, Madonna Crowned by Two Angels (Bartsch 39, Strauss 87, Meder 19c-d). Reverse copy of Durer's c. 1518 engraving. Good impression trimmed inside the platemark. From the existence of copies by Jacob Binck (c. 1500-1569), Jan Wierix, and 13 others, we may assume that this was one of Durer's most popular prints. Durer's original has been praised as "the prettiest and most elegant of Durer's Madonnas" (Kohler) and as having "a Raphaelesque equilibrium of loveliness & serenity" (Panofsky). Image size: 141x90mm. Price: $1400.
Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola, called Parmigianino, b. Parma, 1503-1540 d. Casalmaggiore), AFTER, Venus chastising Cupid. Engraving after Parmigianino, c. 1550? Every art historian who has looked at this agrees that it must be after Parmigianino, but no one has any idea of who might have made it. It is, in any case, an early example of the kind of works that Agostino Carracci would later make. Diane de Grazia's discussion of his "Lascivie" is very useful here. A very good impression on antique laid paper. Image size: 127x88mm. Price: $2850.

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