104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010  | 
(212) 254-4710  |  Mon - Fri, 10AM - 6PM
Follow Us:
  • We are happy to call you during the auction and place bids on your behalf. To arrange phone bidding, please call Swann's bid department during business hours.

    (212) 254-4710 ext. 0
    Mon - Fri 10AM - 6PM


    Or, e-mail a list of lots with the sale number and your contact information to phonebids@swanngalleries.com. Be sure to include a phone number where we can reach you.

    Bids may also be submitted via fax. Send a list of lots with the sale number and your contact information to (212) 979-1017. You will receive a confirmation before the sale.

    Sale 2469 | Lot 145
    Price Realized: $100,000With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
    • Click Image To Enlarge

    • Sale 2469 Lot 145

      House by a River.

      Etching, 1919. 175x202 mm; 7x8 inches, full margins. Signed in pencil, lower right, and titled in pencil, extreme lower left. A brilliant, richly-inked impression of this extremely scarce etching with very strong contrasts.

      We have found only one other impression at auction in the past 30 years.

      Hopper (1882-1967) was born in Nyack, New York and, like many of his contemporaries, began his career as a commercial illustrator. Though his work is more poetic than gritty, Hopper worked alongside Ashcan artists including John Sloan and Robert Henri to depict quotidian New York scenes. He eschewed association with the Ashcan movement, however, maintaining creative independence throughout his career.

      Hopper focused mainly on architectural subjects that conveyed the isolation and anxieties of modernization and urban life. Though many of his most recognizable works depict New York, he traveled to Paris early in his career and spent periods of time around New England. He also continually returned to his Hudson riverfront hometown as a subject of his paintings and etchings.

      The current work takes Nyack as its subject, with the recognizable silhouette of Hook Mountain looming in the background. The composition is an early-career example of Hopper's tendency toward isolated subjects. He depicts the house as a remote locale, with just one solitary figure standing under the artist's voyeuristic gaze. The cross-hatched shadows on the house both emphasize the desolate mood and evince Hopper's adept etching ability. He began making prints as early as the mid-1910s, but 1919 marked a dramatic increase in his printed production, indicating his interest in more widely marketing his printed work.

      Martin Lewis (1881-1962), the master etcher of New York urban scenes (see lots 166-172), mentored Hopper in intaglio printmaking (the artists had neighboring studios on Washington Square North), which contributed to the uptick in his printed oeuvre in the 1910s and 1920s. In 1918, Hopper was included in the Art Institute of Chicago's exhibition of works from the Society of Etchers, aligning his work with contemporary printmakers despite his primary career focus on painting. Levin 61.

      Estimate $100,000 - 150,000

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $100,000