Rembrandt propels Swann May 6 prints auction to $1.8M

Rembrandt van Rijn, ‘Joseph Telling His Dream,’ which sold for $32,500, a record for the print.

Rembrandt van Rijn, ‘Joseph Telling His Dream,’ which sold for $32,500, a record for the print.

NEW YORK — Swann Galleries sale of Old Master Through Modern Prints on May 6 delivered $1.8 million in sales, and saw seven print records set. “There was robust and consistent interest in Old Master prints, with several new artist records set for prints by Rembrandt, Goya, and Piranesi, and Modern prints were tenaciously contested as usual,” noted Todd Weyman, the house’s director of prints and drawings.

The top two lots in the auction were Pablo Picasso’s Fumeur a la Cigarette Rouge, a color aquatint from 1964, which realized a near-record price of $42,500, and Rembrandt van Rijn’s Joseph Telling his Dreams, an etching from 1638, which sold for a record $32,500, setting a precedent for the sale as a whole with household names leading throughout.

Pablo Picasso, ‘Fumeur a la Cigarette Rouge,’ which sold for $42,500

Pablo Picasso, ‘Fumeur a la Cigarette Rouge,’ which sold for $42,500

Rembrandt proved to be the favorite among the Old Masters on offer, with eight of the Dutch artist’s etchings making their way into the top 20 lots sold, and three establishing records. The Holy Family, circa 1632, brought a record for the print at $20,000, and A Ragged Peasant with His Hands Behind Him, Holding a Stick, circa 1633, achieved a record at $17,500. Also of note by Rembrandt was Self Portrait in a Cap and Scarf with the Face Dark: Bust, 1633, at $30,000; and Landscape with an Obelisk, circa 1650, at $22,500. Rounding out the Old Master offerings were three records for etchings by Giovanni Piranesi: Vue Intérieure du Temple de Neptune, 1778, at $7,250; Veduta della Piazza del Popolo, 1750, at $6,250; and Veduta interna del Pronao del Pantheon, 1769, at $2,000. Also setting an auction record was Francisco Jose de Goya’s Modo de Volar, circa 1824, at $20,000.

The Modern lineup included Salvador Dali’s Les Caprices de Goya, a 1977 portfolio with 80 heliogravures from Goya’s etchings with aquatint from Los Caprichos reworked by Dali with drypoint and stencil coloring, which sold for $30,000, and Faust by Goethe, a 1969 set of color drypoints, at $23,750. Additional works from Picasso were Picador II, a color lithograph, from 1961, which sold for $22,500, and Picador, a 1953 glazed terre-de-faience plate painted in green, blue, yellow and white, at $17,500. Exemplary work by Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, and Joan Miro rounded out the section.

 

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