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Price Realized: $42,500 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
Sale 2460 Lot 303
Etching printed in dark bluish black on cream wove paper, 1915-18. 155x180 mm; 6x7 inches, full margins. One of only several known impressions. Signed in pencil, lower right. A superb, richly-inked impression of this exceedingly scarce, early etching.
We have found only one other impression at auction in the past 30 years.
Levin cites another impression at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Bequest of Josephine N. Hopper (accession number 70.1069).
Hopper officially began working as an illustrator in 1905 with C. C. Phillips & Company, New York. His illustrations greatly supplemented his income through the early 1900s and, while not his ultimate calling, afforded him a livelihood to pursue fine art. Walter Tittle (1883-1966), an art school classmate, was instrumental during this time in the artist's early career. Hopper and Tittle were neighbors at 3 Washington Square North, New York, where they rented adjoining studios for 13 years beginning in January 1914. The fellow artists supported each other during these early years in New York, with Hopper teaching Tittle the art of etching (leading Tittle to become the most sought after portraitist of his day) and Tittle helping Hopper secure much needed work as an illustrator. Hopper made 2 etched portraits of Tittle in 1918 (Levin 53 and 54).
Another extremely influential artist in Hopper's early trajectory was Martin Lewis (see lots 306-314). Hopper's first foray into printmaking came at the encouragement of then-fellow illustrator Lewis, in 1915, who instructed him on the technical aspects of the medium. Despite receiving this initial instruction on printmaking from Lewis, their styles were starkly different: Lewis employed a variety of complicated techniques to obtain his desired effects, while Hopper had a much simpler approach, only ever working in etching and drypoint. Levin 28.
Estimate $15,000 - 20,000Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $42,500