de Vlaminck

Maurice de Vlaminck, Houses at Bougival, woodcut

P. 163x245mm., S. 330x500mm.

Maisons à Bougival

Walterskirchen 9a

woodcut, circa 1910-13, on medium-weight beige wove paper, a very fine trial proof impression of the only known state, richly inked in glossy black, printed by hand au frotton, judging by the traces of ink on the reverse, before the 1913 edition of 30, with very wide margins, two short tears, some nicking, slight scuffing, and inky fingerprints along the sheet edges, as well as several marginal creases, all well away from the subject, otherwise in good condition

Provenance: the Guillaume Apollinaire collection

In 1910, when Vlaminck was putting together his first show with Kahnweiler, his circle of friends (meeting often at the café l'Azon on the rue de Ravignan in Paris) included Picasso, Max Jacob, and Guillaume Apollinaire.

Given this attested friendship with the poet and art critic, as well as the nature of the present impression and the patent differences in relation to the sole edition, it is probably not a printer's proof in view of the edition but rather an exceptional and rare trial impression, pulled by the artist himself and given to Apollinaire as a gift, even if this is impossible to date with precision.*

It should be added that a few similar trial proofs of Vlaminck's woodcuts have come onto the market** in the past few years, printed in the same way on wove paper (whereas the Kahnweiler editions were invariably cleanly printed in a thinner matte black ink on Hollande or Arches laid paper).

* The dating of Vlaminck's fauve woodcuts is somewhat problematic: according to the expert Guy Martin, who officiated the dispersal of the Apollinaire collection over the past years, the present print may be dated to circa 1910, a date often proposed elsewhere, although Kahnweiler himself (in a 1970 letter, see Walterskirchen 1974, p. 272) affirms that they were all executed in 1913. See also the discussion of dating Vlaminck's prints in E. Pernoud, L'Estampe des Fauves, 1994, p. 102.

** These were from the Henri M. Petiet collection (see for example the HMP V sale, November 1993, # 210 Le Pecq, which the cataloguer qualifies as a "précieuse épreuve d'essai").