Details
EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944)
Harpy
lithograph, 1899, on Van Gelder laid paper, with a Fleur-de-Lys watermark, not signed, a good impression of this very rare print, trimmed slightly irregularly to or fractionally into the subject, a 10 mm. tear at the right sheet edge, mount- and tape staining along the sheet edges
Sheet 355 x 314 mm.

Provenance:
Christie's, London, 29 November 1988, lot 447 (£5,100)

References:
Schiefler 137
Woll 145

Please note this lot is the property of a private collector.
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Lot Essay



The 'battle of the sexes' is a central theme in Edvard Munch's oeuvre. Although a great innovator of artistic form, in sentiment he was very much a man of the fin de siècle. The motif of the femme fatale preying on helpless man was a pervasive theme in the art and literature of the end of the 19th century. Munch found a harrowing and powerful expression of this idea in the image of a harpy, a bird of prey with the head and body of a woman, about to sink her talons into the skeletal corpse of a man. As a subject, it is closely related to Munch's famous woodcut and painting of the Vampyre, the red-haired woman seeming to bite the neck of a man.

Impressions of this print are extremely rare. To our knowledge, the present impression is the only one to have been offered at auction within the last thirty years.

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