Modigliani Drawing Sells for $84,000 at Swann Galleries

A Modigliani pencil drawing of Beatrice Hastings, circa 1915, brought $84,000 at Swann Galleries March 9th 2010 auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings. The portrait of the political activist and literary figure, which was once in the celebrated collection of Joseph L Shulman, had a presale estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

Record prices were achieved for several prints, including Camille Pissarro’s Femme à la Barrière, etching printed in black, 1889, $15,600; John Marin’s Downtown New York, the El, drypoint, 1921, $12,000; Martin Lewis’s Circus Night, drypoint and sand ground, 1933, $15,600; and Pablo Picasso’s Femme au fauteuil II: Dora Maar, aquatint, scraper, burin and drypoint, 1939, $26,400.

Other Picasso highlights included L’Homme au Chien, etching, 1914, and Tête de femme, lithograph, 1945, each $18,000; a color collotype and stencil after Le Peintre, circa 1950, $14,400; and Woman Lamp, a painted terre de faïence vase, 1955, $16,800.

Among a fine selection of color lithographs by Marc Chagall, Découverte de Chloé par Daphnis, 1961, fetched $22,800, and Regards sur Paris (Place de la Concorde), 1960, $20,400.

Strong prices for other European works included 19th-century prints such as Pissarro’s Cours-la-Reine (ou Bords de la Seine, à Rouen), etching, aquatint and drypoint, 1884, $9,000; Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s La Danse à la Campagne, 2e planche, soft-ground etching, circa 1890, $14,400; and Édouard Vuillard’s La Cuisinière, color lithograph, 1899, $22,800; and 20th-century examples including Henri Matisse’s Marguerite V, lithograph, 1948, $14,400; Willi Baumeister’s Allegro, color screenprint, 1954, $11,400; Georges Braque’s L’Oiseau et son ombre II, color aquatint and etching, 1961, $22,800; Savador Dali’s Crucifixion, drypoint and etching, 1961, $9,000; and a portfolio with 10 lithographs by Alexander Archipenko, titled Les Formes Vivantes, 1963, $8,100.

Notable American prints included Childe Hassam’s The Chimneys, Portsmouth, etching, 1915, $6,960; Paul Cadmus’s Horseplay, etching, 1935, $7,995; Paul Landacre’s Counterpoint, wood engraving on Japan paper, 1939, $6,720; and Thomas Hart Benton’s Wreck of the Ol’ 97, lithograph, 1944, $10,200.

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