NEW YORK – Not everyone can afford to own an original Matisse. Art lovers can, however, purchase a vintage gravure that pictures the French master at work, which was created by another noted French artist, photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Jasper52 will offer it and over 100 more vintage gravures at an online auction on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking process used for rich, high quality photo reproduction. The process uses a flat copper plate that is deeply etched and printed by hand. Because of its high quality and richness, the photogravure process has long been used for original fine art prints.
Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Matisse in Vence, France 1944 (above) was printed in France in 1952. It pictures Matisse, his back to the camera, his subject to the left and the work in progress on the right. The 9-by-13 ½-inch print has an estimate of $400-$500.
Cartier-Bresson specialized in humanist photography. He is considered the master of candid photography, and one of the first prominent users of 35 mm film. He innovated street photography, bringing it to a new level in modern art.
Another noted French photographer featured in the auction is Gabriel Loppé, who was also a painter and mountaineer. In his later years Loppé became fascinated with photography and was an innovator in this field. His long exposure photograph of the Eiffel Tower struck by lightning, now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, remains one of his iconic images. The small gravure (below) of this famous image was printed in France in the 1920s.
The auction features many of the foremost photographers of the 20th century. Among them is Yousuf Karsh, the Armenian-born Canadian photographer, considered one of the great portrait photographers. His portraits include icons of Hollywood, art, literature and politics. The auction will feature his portrait of stern-faced boxing champion Muhammad Ali in a business suit.
Rudolf Koppitz was a photographer whose work includes straight photography and modernist images. He was a part of the Photo-Secession movement of the early 20th century that praised pictorialism and celebrated photography as a fine art parallel to painting or sculpture. He was a leading figure of photography in Vienna between the World Wars, and is best known for his works of the human figure. Bewegungs Studie (Motion Study), one of his most famous works, is featured in the auction.
Dorothea Lange is best remembered for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration. While the auction features her famous portrait titled Ditched, Stalled and Stranded of a broken-down motorist in the San Joaquin Valley, California in 1935, there’s also an equally haunting image titled John, San Francisco, 1931, of an arm extending a bouquet of cut daisies.
Jeanloup Sieff was a photographer born to Polish parents in Paris in 1933. He is famous for his portraits of politicians, famous artists, landscapes, as well as for his nudes (two of which are included in the auction) and the use of wide-angle lenses. The Big Ride, Las Vegas 1963, a dramatic wide-angle view of the front end of a Buick Riviera, is offered in the auction.
The auction will be conducted Tuesday, Jan. 16, beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern time.