Feb 16, 2023 - Sale 2626

Sale 2626 - Lot 75

Price Realized: $ 3,120
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 5,000

JOHN SLOAN (1871-1951)

Robert Henri, Painter.
Etching. 355x279 mm; 14x11 inches, full margins. Eighth state (of 8). Edition of 60 (from an intended edition of 100). Signed and inscribed "100 proofs" in pencil, lower margin. 1931.

A superb, richly-inked impression with strong contrasts. Morse 246.

According to Morse, approximately 30 impressions were pulled from the plate in the seventh state and another 30 were taken in the eighth state, which differs in the heavy diagonal shading in the plate upper right, to account for the total published edition of 60.

Sloan made this portrait as a memorial to his teacher, mentor and friend, fellow Ashcan artist Robert Henri (1865-1929). Henri had died unexpectedly, after being hospitalized at St. Luke's Hospital in New York, of cardiac arrest early in the morning of July 12, 1929. His sudden death had a strong impact on the scores of artists he had taught and mentored for several decades, including Sloan, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Stuart Davis, and Edward Hopper. The artist and student of Henri, Eugene Speicher said, "Not only was he a great painter, but . . . I don't think it too much to call him the father of independent painting in this country."

Sloan based the current work, one of his largest portrait etchings, on a drawing he had made of Henri in 1905, now in the collection of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. In his diary, Sloan noted, "I am pleased with the plate and hope that it conveys some of the kindly strength and helpful wisdom which this great artists so freely gave toothers."