Start Your Print Collection: 10 Under £10k

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Launch Slideshow

The Prints & Multiples sale on 27 September comprises graphic works by some of the most renowned and influential artists from the past 500 years. For the budding collector and seasoned print buyer alike, this auction provides an opportunity to own works by highly esteemed artists; Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, James Ensor, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein and Francis Bacon to name but a few. The works coming up for auction represent the pinnacle of printmaking, spanning the diverse spectrum of printed media. From relief and intaglio to planographic, each of the main printmaking methods is represented in this sale in its most effective form. Take a look at 10 highlights with an estimated starting price of under £10k to start your collection.

Prints & Multiples
27 September | London

Start Your Print Collection: 10 Under £10k

  • Francis Bacon, Oresteia of Aeschylus (S.16), lithographs printed in colours, 1981. Estimate £7,000–£10,000.
    Through its triptych format and oblique suggestions of violence, Oresteia of Aeschylus is characteristic of Bacon’s late style. The work, inspired by the particularly gruesome story of Oresteia, testifies to Bacon’s enduring commitment to the exploration of the human condition through strange and grotesque depictions of the human form.

  • Roy Lichtenstein, Crying Girl (C. II.1), offset lithograph printed in colours, 1963. Estimate £10,000–£15,000.
    Initially produced to illustrate the invitation to Lichtenstein’s 1963 show at the Leo Castelli Galley in New York, Crying Girl has become one of Lichtenstein’s most iconic works. Lichtenstein adopted an anonymous, mechanised style to challenge the artificiality of commercial images and this detached, eye-catching technique brought him to the forefront of the Pop world.

  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Augustfeuer (G. 1406; D. 433), etching, 1923. Estimate £6,000–£8,000.
    Executed during a particularly turbulent year of the artist’s life, this etching emits the feelings of angst and uncertainty thought to be experienced by Kirchner during this time. Containing a subject-matter revisited by the artist on multiple occasions, this extremely rare etching projects the unique qualities inherent in the medium while infusing it with a personal undercurrent.

  • Pablo Picasso, Minotaure aveugle guidé par une Fillette, III (B. 224; Ba. 436), etching, 1934. Estimate £10,000–£15,000.
    This etching from La Suite Vollard represents Picasso's focus on the theme of the Minotaur which is repeated throughout his oeuvre and further expounded in the Vollard Suite. Beyond the earlier exploration of this half-man, half-animal in the roles of tender seducer, lecherous predator and carousing creature, in this work Picasso presents a vision of the Minotaur as a blinded animal, faithfully following an innocent child who is holding a dove – the symbol of purity.

  • Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Joseph’s Coat brought to Jacob (B., Holl. 38; New Holl. 122; H.104), etching and drypoint, circa 1633. Estimate £7,000–£9,000.
    Representing the agonising moment upon which Jacob was presented with the bloodied coat of his son Joseph, Rembrandt plays upon the characteristics of the biblical narrative to portray a moment of stark emotion; whether it be guilt, envy or anguish. In this fine impression of the rare first state, the climactic moment from the life of Joseph is presented by Rembrandt with a great clarity of narrative and emotion.

  • James Ensor, Les Bains à Ostende (D., T. 115; E. 120), etching, 1899. Estimate £6,000–£8,000.
    At first glance, a seemingly typical representation of the bourgeoisie at leisure at the seaside, upon closer inspection, this etching exudes Ensor’s typically satirical style. From the grotesque actions of some figures contrasted with the voyeuristic onlookers on the shore, Ensor presents the seaside resort not as a place of glamour but as a claustrophobic sea of endless banality and depraved behaviour

  • James Ensor, La Mort poursuivant le troupeau des humains (D., T. 104; E. 106), etching and drypoint, 1896. Estimate £8,000–£12,000.
    One of Ensor’s most famous prints, this combination of etching and drypoint is thought to represent the growing social unrest in Belgium at the time of its making. Having depicted Death with a great scythe hovering ominously above a crowd of grimacing and panicked Belgian citizens, Ensor focuses upon the theme of death, immorality and looming catastrophe central to many of his works.

  • James Ensor, Le pisseur (D., T., E. 12), etching, 1887.
    Estimate £5,000–£7,000.
    In this work, Ensor pays homage to the eponymous drawing by Jacques Callot, now in the Uffizi, Florence. While Callot shows his pisser as a lowly jester, Ensor depicts a respectable gentleman in a top hat urinating on a wall scrawled with the phrase 'ENSOR EST UN FOU' (Ensor is a madman). This scene has been interpreted as a clever, and rather literal, response to many critics Ensor encountered between 1885-95.

  • James Ensor, Insectes singuliers (D., T., E. 46), drypoint, 1888.
    Estimate £3,000–£5,000.
    This work, inspired by the poem Die Launen der Verbliebten (1853) by Heinrich Heine, depicts the artist’s forbidden love for Mariette Rousseau, the wife of Ernest Rousseau. The poem reads: ''A beetle sits on a hedge, sad and pensive; he has fallen in love with a dragonfly: O dragonfly of my soul! be the spouse of my choice / Marry me, don’t reject my love, I have a golden belly'' (translation in Eric Gillis, James Ensor, p.74). In this work, Ensor depicts himself as the brooding and seemingly awkward dung-beetle whilst his youthful amour lends her features to the dragonfly.

  • Nicoletto da Modena, Ornament Panel with Bound Slaves and a Birdcage (B. Vol. XXV 56; B. Vol. XXV Commentary 92; H. Vol. V. 105), engraving, late 15th century to early 16th century. Estimate £3,000–£4,000.
    In this dense and grotesque panel depicting themes of war and triumph, da Modena presents a rare and richly inked example of the intricacies of printmaking. With great clarity and contrasts, this work depicts slavery, gluttony, persecution and prosperity all under the guise of respectability.

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