This original lithograph in colours is hand signed by the artist in pencil "P. Delvaux" at the lower right margin.
It is also inscribed “H.C” in pencil, a hors commerce [outside of trade] impression aside from the standard edition of 75.
The work was printed by Atelier Mourlot, Paris in a limited edition of 75 hand signed and numbered impressions.
It was published by Galerie Le Bateau Lavoir, Paris, with their blindstamp.
The paper bears the Arches watermark.
The subject of this lithograph is the Ancient greek courtesan, Phyrne, at one time the lover of the renowned sculptor, Praxiteles. The ancient subject was popularised again in the 19th Century mostly by French artists. She is shown bare breasted, a reference to her been shown bare breasted to the judges in her trial, who struck by her beauty felt they could not condemn to death "a prophetess and priestess of Aphrodite".
Provenance: Mrs Mira Jacob, Galerie le Bateau-Lavoir, Paris.
The Mira Jacob Collection is one of the most complete collections of prints by Paul Delvuax in private hands.
Madame Mira Jacob Wolfovska (1912–2004) was a renowned figure in the Parisian art world, and her gallery Le Bateau Lavoir, located on the rue de Seine, was famous for its exhibitions of Surrealist art, of which she was a passionate advocate.
Mrs Mira Jacob was also the author of the Paul Delvaux graphic work catalogue raisonne that was published in 1976.
Literature: Jacob, M. (1976). Paul Delvaux Graphic Work. New York: Rizzoli.
Reference: Jacob 40
Condition: In very good condition. A stain in the upper left sheet corner.
About Paul Delvaux
Paul Delvaux is known for his oil paintings that fuse elements of Surrealism with classical forms. A recurring theme in Delvaux’s work is nude women, incongruously reclining or wandering silently through classical buildings or train stations, combined with motifs such as skeletons and other unexpected objects. Deeply indebted to the works of Giorgio de Chirico and René Magritte, Delvaux’s scenes are characterized by long shadows, oppressive atmospheres, and unsettling juxtapositions. Of de Chirico’s influence, Delvaux once said, “With him I realized what was possible, the climate that had to be developed, the climate of silent streets with shadows of people who can’t be seen.”
Belgian, 1897-1994, Belgium