Dec 15, 2015 - Sale 2402

Sale 2402 - Lot 35

Price Realized: $ 7,800
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
ROMARE BEARDEN (1911 - 1988)
Untitled (Fallen Warrior and Woman).

Watercolor, gouache, pencil, brush and ink on cream wove paper, circa 1947-48. 470x620 mm; 18 1/2x24 1/2 inches. Signed in ink, upper right. Inscribed "To Vinnie and Claude, Xmas/56" in pencil, lower right.

Provenance: gift from the artist, Claude and Virginia DeMetruis, New York; thence by descent to a private collection, New York.

Claude Demetruis, a popular songwriter, had two songs at the time became big hits on the charts - Hard Headed Woman, sung by Elvis Presley, and Mean Woman Blues, sung by Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. In the early 1950s, Bearden also wrote jazz and pop songs, including Sea Breeze, which was performed by Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie and became a jazz standard.

This modernist watercolor is a strong example from Romare Bearden's Iliad series. Here Bearden depicts a fallen warrior being helped by a woman outside the Trojan city walls. Bearden based his series on Homer's account of the Trojan War, and showed 16 variations of this theme at the Niveau Gallery in 1948. Schwartzman p. 152.