Oct 26, 2011 - Sale 2258

Sale 2258 - Lot 414

Price Realized: $ 3,120
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
Paysage anthropophage.

Engraving and soft-ground etching, 1937. 184x351 mm; 7 1/4x14 inches, full margins. Fourth state (of 4). Signed, titled, dated and numbered 6/30 in pencil, lower margin. A very good impression of this extremely scarce print.

In the same year of Hayter's visit to war-torn Spain in 1937, the publisher Ambroise Vollard commissioned 6 prints from Hayter to illustrate Cervantes' Numancia, accompanied by a French translation. Hayter completed 5 of the 6 prints for this project, before it was cut short by Vollard's death in 1939. This likely accounts for the scarcity of this print and the others in the series. (Black/Moorhead note that the highest edition number recorded to date for this engraving is 9/30.)

Cervantes' 16th-century tragedy recounts the heroic defense of Numantia at the annihilating hands of the Romans in 133 BCE, a subject that echoed the throes of the Spanish Civil War, begun in 1936, and Hayter witnessed firsthand. The title Paysage anthropophage (Man-eating Landscape) specifically refers to Act IV, Scene 4, where the starving Numancians decide to eat their Roman prisoners; the barren landscape with few figures laid naked and supine evoke such devestation. Hayter's early figural subjects and narratives also coincide with the dark emotions often explored and associated with Surrealist art.
>QL>In 1938 and 1939, Atelier 17 would produce 2 group portfolios, Solidarité and Fraternity, as tributes to the Spanish people, with proceeds from the sale donated to the Spanish Republican Children's Fund. Black/Moorhead 106.