Jun 30, 2022 - Sale 2611

Sale 2611 - Lot 65

Price Realized: $ 3,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
Fifth Avenue, Noon.

Etching, 1916. 251x190 mm; 9 7/8x7 1/2 inches, full margins. Second state (of 2), after the slight reduction of the plate along the left edge. Edition of approximately only 20. Signed with the artist's cypher and inscribed "imp" in pencil, lower right. A brilliant, richly-inked impression of this very scarce etching, with sharp plate edges, the artist's printing ink finger-print smudges at the sheet edges and strong contrasts.

A view of Fifth Avenue, New York, drawn from life, looking north from 34th Street (from the site of the Empire State building today).

Like John Marin early in his career, Hassam (1859-1935) was inspired by the etchings of James A. M. Whistler. A reluctant printmaker who reveled in the color of painting, Hassam drew a few of his plates during his training in Paris, circa 1898, though he did not return to them until 1915 as a mature artist. As Royal Cortissoz stated, Hassam's etchings, aside from being technically brilliant, bear "a certain joie de vivre implicit in all Mr. Hassam's work. The thing that has stamped him has been the happy, inspiriting nature of his impressions of the American Scene." Hassam was equally fascinated with the urban environment as well as the countryside, both treated in an individualistic manner intrinsic to American art. In review of Hassam's etchings in 1923, Joseph Pennell, an artistic rival, wrote to Hassam, "America, our country, is full of subjects, and that our New York is the most marvelous and endless subject on the face of the earth . . . your show is another proof that New England is also worth doing . . . that there are other methods besides tracing photographs, of drawing nudes, and that there are other ways and other motives than even yours and mine for etching New York." Since his emergence as a printmaker in 1915, Hassam had not run out of subject matter, he completed 380 etchings in his lifetime. Cortissoz/Clayton 77.