Pivotal Works by Beckmann, Ernst, Munch, Picasso, Warhol and Others on Offer at Christie's

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The Christie’s London bi-annual sale of Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints in September will feature a fantastic variety of original prints from the Renaissance to the present day including well-known artists such as Dürer, Rembrandt, Picasso, Beckmann, Matisse, Miro, Bacon, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Hockney.

A leading highlight from the sale is Les Deux Femmes Nues, an important and rare series of 22 lithographs from 1945 by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), including five previously unrecorded intermediate variants of the print (estimate: £100,000-150,000). This incredible collection, portraying the image of two women ‘morphing’ with each impression, brilliantly displays Picasso’s relentless creative drive, as well as his talent as a remarkably skillful printmaker. Over half a century on, commentators and cataloguers are still adding to the literature on this period of intense artistic activity, almost unparalleled in the history of western art. Through this fascinating group of prints it is possible to reconstruct the flow of events in the atelier.

Madonna, or Liebendes Weib (Loving Woman) as Edvard Munch (1863-1944) also titled his composition, is recognized as one of the artist's most mysterious and important images, and Christie’s is proud to be offering the lithograph with woodcut printed in black, pale green, blue and red from 1895-1902 (estimate: £200,000-300,000). Depicted during the act of conception, set against a mystic swirling sea of translucent colour and crowned with a luminous halo, Munch's Madonna encapsulates his fascination with the juxtapositions of life and death, desire and fear, holiness and carnality. Seen as an incredibly controversial image by contemporary audiences Munch's Madonna is not only pictorially complex, but also a splendid technical achievement...

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