Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographs London Friday, May 19, 2023 | Phillips
  • “I get something out of flowers that other people don’t get. . . I love the pictures of flowers more than I love real flowers.”
    —Robert Mapplethorpe

    • Provenance

      LipanjePuntin Contemporary Art Gallery, Trieste
      Private Collection, Europe
      Phillips, London, 8 May 2013, lot 31

    • Literature

      J. Kardon, Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, Philadelphia: Meriden-Stinehour, 1988, p. 89
      E. Barents, Robert Mapplethorpe: Ten by Ten, Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1996, pl. 25
      R. Mapplethorpe, Pistils, London: Jonathan Cape, 1996, p. 79
      H. Muschamp, Mapplethorpe: The Complete Flowers, Dusseldorf: teNeues, 2006, pl. 138
      A. Danto, Mapplethorpe, Kempen: teNeues, 2007, p. 263
      S. Wolf, Polaroids: Mapplethorpe, Munich: Prestel, 2007, p. 34
      Robert Mapplethorpe: Perfection in Form, Kempen: teNeues, 2009, p. 127
      P. Martineau & B. Salvesen, Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs, Los Angeles: Getty, 2016, pl. 141
      R. Mapplethorpe, Flora: The Complete Flowers, London: Phaidon, 2016, p. 141, 359
      Robert Mapplethorpe, London: Phaidon, 2020, p. 303

    • Artist Biography

      Robert Mapplethorpe

      American • 1946 - 1989

      After studying drawing, painting and sculpture at the Pratt Institute in the 1960s, Robert Mapplethorpe began experimenting with photography while living in the notorious Chelsea Hotel with Patti Smith. Beginning with Polaroids, he soon moved on to a Hasselblad medium-format camera, which he used to explore aspects of life often only seen behind closed doors.

      By the 1980s Mapplethorpe's focus was predominantly in the studio, shooting portraits, flowers and nudes. His depiction of the human form in formal compositions reflects his love of classical sculpture and his groundbreaking marriage of those aesthetics with often challenging subject matter. Mapplethorpe's style is present regardless of subject matter — from erotic nudes to self-portraits and flowers — as he ceaselessly strove for what he called "perfection of form."

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Gelatin silver print, mounted.
48.6 x 48.6 cm (19 1/8 x 19 1/8 in.)
Signed, dated by Michael Ward Stout, Executor, in ink, estate copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp on the reverse of the mount. Number 10 from an edition of 10.

Full Cataloguing

£15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for £38,100

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Yuka Yamaji
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London Auction 19 May 2023