Georges Braque - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | Phillips
  • Literature

    see Dora Vallier 115

  • Catalogue Essay

    From the plate used for White Chariot (and, subsequently reworked, for the black areas of Black Chariot), Crommelynck made for Braque two series of prints on plaster, each measuring 240 x 300mm. One set of twelve was inked in grey, another set of twelve in brown. To make these plaster prints, the surface of the plate was lightly inked, but the deep grooves were left free of ink: when the plate was pressed onto the wet plaster, white plaster was forced into the grooves, leaving the image of the figure and horses standing out in white relief against the inked surface of the plaster.

    This technique of making prints on plaster is associated in particular with the English artist-printer Stanley William Hayter, who lived in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, and again after the Second World War. In 1927 Hayter established a print studio, known from 1933 as Atelier 17, in which he and his students explored the creative possibilities of intaglio printing. He began to make plaster prints as early as 1931,[8] and, although there is no evidence that Braque knew Hayter or worked in his studio, it seems possible that he was influenced by news of Hayter’s experiments when, also around 1931, he made some carved plaster reliefs. In such works as Figure from The Theogony 1931,[9] Braque drew his designs, which showed as white, into black-painted plaster while it was still soft using a sharp point. A few years later he appears to have used an etched plate to create a plaster print, Io 1934-5,[10] which, like Black Chariot (Chariot V), shows a stick-figure and a horse-pulled chariot. It is not known how Braque hit upon this technique, but it seems possible that he, like Hayter, saw a connection between this innovative type of intaglio printing and the painted and incised decorations found in the archaic art he so admired (see Mundy 1993, pp.19-20).

    Jennifer Mundy, November 1993, Tate Museum website

    [8] See S.W. Hayter, New Ways of Gravure, London 1966, p.131.
    [9] Reproduced in G Braque et la mythologie, exh. cat., Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris 1982, no.26, in colour.
    [10] Reproduced ibid. no.35, in colour.


Char blanc (Char IV) (White Chariot IV) (see V. 115)

Intaglio in grey, on plaster.
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 3/4 in. (24.1 x 29.8 x 1.9 cm)
Incised with numbering 5/12 on the reverse (there were also 12 in brown, aside from the edition of 75 on Rives BFK paper).

$2,000 - 4,000 

Sold for $3,302

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 18 - 20 April 2023