Rare Rediscovered Portfolio Could Make £1million at Sotheby's
DISCOVERED AFTER A CENTURY:
THE ONLY KNOWN COMPLETE EXAMPLE OF THE RARE, IMPORTANT ALBUM:
PUBLISHED BY AMBROISE VOLLARD
LEGENDARY FRENCH ART DEALER, FRIEND AND PATRON OF THE IMPRESSIONISTS AND
FEATURING A MAGNIFICENT EXAMPLE OF EDVARD MUNCH’S FIRST EVER COLOUR LITHOGRAPH
ALONGSIDE 21 PRINTS BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES INCLUDING
BONNARD, VUILLARD, REDON, RENOIR
TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION IN LONDON | SEPTEMBER 17 2019
11 August 2019, London: The complete, ground-breaking multi-artist album Les Peintres-Graveurs will be offered at auction in London this September, with an estimate of £500,000 to £1,000,000.
One of the most important art dealers and publishers of the 20th century, Ambroise Vollard was largely responsible for the validation of lithography as an art form, as well as the propagation of the greatest Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. Issued in Paris in 1896, his first ever multi-artist portfolio Les Peintres-Graveurs comprises 22 prints by the likes of Pierre Bonnard, Odilon Redon, Théo van Rysselberghe, Auguste Renoir, and Edouard Vuillard. A champion of unrecognised artists, Vollard took chances on international and young talent.
At the heart of his portfolio is an exceptional impression of one of Edvard Munch’s most famous motifs, Angst (or Le Soir). Produced in collaboration with the eminent Parisian printmaker Auguste Clot, the subject was the first colour lithograph ever produced by Munch, who went on to become one of history’s most prolific and successful printmakers.
This complete example of Les Peintures-Graveurs comes to the market after its rediscovery in a private European collection. The present album was purchased in 1920s Paris by the current owner’s family and has remained in their collection since, never before exhibited publicly. Initially produced in an edition of 100, its sale on September 17 will mark the first time the complete portfolio has ever appeared at auction. Even in Vollard’s lifetime, albums were split and prints were sold individually. To date, no institution or private collector has been able to obtain the full album.
Severine Nackers, Head of Sotheby’s Prints Department in London, said:
“The discovery of this complete portfolio is just astounding. As far as we know, it is the only complete example still in existence. It is only the second portfolio published by the young Vollard, who elevated lithography, and the work of many radical artists from across Europe, to international acclaim. Among these was Edvard Munch, whose impression of Angst is so powerful, and has been known to achieve upwards of half a million pounds at auction in a single lot. Vollard showed astonishing foresight, and the portfolio stands testament to the work of one of history’s greatest publishers, and to the history of printmaking as a whole”.
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