First colour version of Munch's Madonna to sell priced £700,000

An impression of Edvard Munch's Madonna, thought to be the first hand coloured version of this iconic image, will lead Bonham's Print sale in London on July 13.

The model was his mistress, Dagny Juel, a femme fatale who, after numerous ill-fated affairs, was shot dead by a young lover in a Tblisi hotel. She was aged just 33.

Munch produced the image in seven different states between 1895 and 1902, and this impression is from the very first state.

Only a few hand-coloured impressions of Madonna are known to exist, most of which are now in public collections, and it's very rare for a print of such historical importance to appear on the collectors' market.

Edvard Munch's Madonna, thought to be the first hand coloured version of his
iconic work, produced in seven states between 1895-1902

Although there are six oil paintings of Madonna - all predating the print - none of them have the border which made the lithographic image so challenging at the time. 

At least one of the paintings, however, was originally hung in a frame decorated with spermatozoa and embryos, and these motifs were later included by Munch in the border of the lithograph.

It is in excellent condition and that, coupled with its strong provenance - having been in the same family for over 100 years - places its value at £500,000-700,000.

Also appearing in the auction is Andy Warhol's famous image of Hollywood screen legend Elizabeth Tayor (£18,000-22,000), and a 1958 Picasso lithograph depicting his lover Jacqueline Roque (£30,000-40,000).

A 1958 Picasso lithograph depicting his lover, Jacqueline Roque

Jacqueline modeled for Picasso from 1954 until the artist's death in 1973, and she appears in more than 400 of his portraits.

Notoriously, she banned Picasso's two children by former mistress and muse Françoise Gilot from their father's funeral, and later shot herself in 1986 at the age of 59.

Aside from her relationship with Picasso, Françoise Gilot was also a respected artist in her own right and is today remembered as one of the most enduring artists of the post World War II School of Paris.

Collectors on the look-out for a piece of Gilot's legacy may be interested in this rarely seen self-portrait which is currently for sale.


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