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Max Liebermann

(1847–1935, Berlin)

Self-portrait, standing and drawing. Drypoint, reworked with charcoal and white chalk. 17.7 x 11.8 cm. Signed “MLiebermann” and inscribed “I/2 Etat”. 1913. Schiefler 148 I b (of III c).

The portrait shows the artist aged sixty-six at the height of his career. The pose he adopts is consequently nonchalant, confident and self-possessed. Liebermann captures his own features with a look of intense concentration, sketch pad in his left hand and pencil in his right.

This print is an absolute rarity, one of just three impressions of the first state recorded by Schiefler with a gap still in the outline of the skull, before the corrections to the shape of the skull and before the longitudinal lines in the collar. In addition, Liebermann has reworked the head and forehead with white chalk and a charcoal stick, deepened the darkness of the beard, eyebrows and fringe of hair and rounded the forehead a little. This provides an exemplary insight into the artist’s working process during the elaboration of the image. The print, which is in itself extremely rare in this state, is rendered unique by the artist’s additional reworking. The edition of the final state was published in Berlin by Bruno Cassirer. A superb, crisp and inky proof impression with wide margins, with deckle edge on the right. Very occasional tiny, unobtrusive spots, small notes in pencil in the lower margin, slightly darkened, minor soiling, minimal remains of old paper hinges in the left-hand margin verso, otherwise in impeccable condition.

6.500 €

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