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Bassin d'Apollon, Versailles (Fountain of Appollo, Versailles). Drypoint. Menpes 364. 7 1/8 x 9 1/8 (sheet 8 13/16 x 10 7/8). A very rich impression with drypoint burr and plate tone, printed on [Men]pes countermarked laid paper. Signed and annotated 'imp' in pencil indicating a proof printed by the artist. $500
Portrait of Whistler with the White Lock, Wearing a Monocle. c. 1880. Drypoint. Menpes 22. 6 1/2 x 5 3/4 (sheet 11 x 8 7/8). A fine impression printed on '[ing]res FRANCE' countermarked laid paper on the full sheet with deckle edges on three sides. Excellent condition. Signed and annotated 'imp' in pencil, indicating an impression printed by Menpes. $2,500.
Mortimer Menpes was born in 1855 in Adelaide, South Australia. In 1875 he emigrated with his parents to London. Accompanying Menpes and his parents was a young woman named Rosa Grosse whom Menpes married after arriving in England. He began his art studies soon afterward at the South Kensington Schools, where he studied with Edward Pointer, a member of The Royal Academy.
In October of 1880, Menpes met Whistler at the Fine Art Society where their works were exhibited. Menpes left his studies at South Kensington and became Whistler's pupil and disciple. He invited Whistler to use his printing room where the artists worked together. Menpes was so devoted to Whistler that he and his artist friends formed a club to adulate Whistler and to further their artistic ideals. Menpes' admiration for his mentor is apparent the etched portraits of Whistler from the 1880's. Menpes' compositions vary from exacting bust-length studies to the playful multiple-image studies. While their close association only lasted for several years, it had a profound life-long impact on Menpes, whose book, Whistler as I Knew Him, has become a standard reference.
British Fine Prints.
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