Lot 13: WILLIAM JAMES GLACKENS | Nymphet Series, with Man
20 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Around 1915, Glackens produced a few enigmatic works in which he experimented with the female form in motion, usually within a mythological context. Professor William Gerdts speculates that the artist's inspiration for his 'Nymphet Series' might be earlier works by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Arthur B. Davies, Henri Matisse or even Edouard Manet. He writes that these works 'have little in common with Glackens's trademarks, showing no hint of romance, gentility, or domestic bliss. Instead, they are infused with an air of mystery, exoticism and even danger' and reveal 'an unexpectedly dark and threatening side of Glackens' (William H. Gerdts, William Glackens, New York, 1996, p. 182). Here, a voluptuous nude woman, a nymph, emerging from a tree, prods a young girl forward into the forest as a grown man lurks threateningly in the background. In mythology, the nymph is the guardian of wild nature and a symbol of female fertility, who can sing and dance with abandon and enjoys complete sexual freedom. While one can speculate endlessly about the symbols and meaning, it is clear that the artist was experimenting with the scene's artistic possibilities.
Oil on prepared canvasboard with N. Rabinowitz stamp on reverse. Surface: In good condition aside from being thinly painted in spots. UNDER UV: no apparent inpainting.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Estate of the artist
Estate of Ira Glackens, the artist's son (sold: Christie's, New York, October 9, 2003, lot 62)
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner
Dimensions: 12 by 16 inches
Medium: oil on canvasboard