Apr 07, 2016 - Sale 2409

Sale 2409 - Lot 2

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
RICHMOND BARTHÉ (1901 - 1989)
Black Boy (Head of Boy).

Painted plaster or dental material, with a bronze-like patina, on a walnut base, circa 1929-31. 152 mm; 6 inches high (241 mm; 9 1/2 inches high including base). Incised artist's signature on the verso of the head.

Provenance: private collection, New York.

Black Boy is a very good example of an early work by Richmond Barthé. At the time, the artist struggled to find commissions, but showed regularly at the Harmon Foundation exhibitions of 1929, 1931 and 1933. In works like this and Mask of a Boy, circa 1931, Barthé demonstrates a great sensitivity and expressiveness on a small scale. Another Head of Boy was listed in the Harmon 1935 exhibition at Delphic Studios, which included 19 sculptures by the artist, in addition to the memorial exhibition for Malvin Gray Johnson. There is also another very similar mask-like head that Barthé later cast in bronze, titled Julius, 1942-43, in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Reynolds/Wright pl. 11, p. 158; Vendryes p. 53.