Mockup Galerie Magazine
Overwhelmed with the quality of this museum’s collection - and the effects of jet lag - my mind slipped into a fantasy world, thinking “If only I could possess H.G. Wells’s famous time machine, I would transport myself to Clement de Jonghe’s atelier in Holland where Iwould without question acquire this incredible Hundred Guilder proof that I had just seen.” Within moments, I drifted back into the present reality of the museum. I felt satisfied in knowing I had just laid eyes on one of Rembrandt’s greatest graphic achievements. Hold on - it seemed that I was in the process of an epiphany. I realized that there was a way for me to replicate the previous moment, time and historic opportunity. I could acquire masterworks comparable to Rembrandt’s best 17th century etchings through the master works of Pablo Picasso in the 20th century. After all, Picasso’s atelier was still intact. Even without Wells’s time machine, I had the opportunity to acquire some of the most defining proofs that Picasso had executed in the latter part of the 20th century. The emphasis of knowing that one could still acquire some of Picasso’s most important works led to the birth of our current exhibition, Picasso’s Women. Armed with the richness of the works assembled, I am filled with the same excitement I felt that day I visited the museum. This is an exhibition rich with Picasso’s most defining graphic oeuvre. Many of these works were created and pulled in direct collaboration with Picasso and his master printers. Nothing can be more important than accessing the profound insights of Picasso’s mind in the development of the creative act. The works exhibited in this landmark exhibition are so unique and of such rare quality that they cannot fail to have to have a permanent place in the lexicon of art history. We at Galerie Michael are privileged to offer our dear collectors and clients rare works that serve as key examples of Pablo Picasso’s artistic testament to the graphic medium.
A time machine to the atelier
As a young art dealer, I remember my chance encounter with the curator of fine prints and drawings at one of Europe’s most renowned art museums. Their various Rembrandt etchings were widely known as one of the world’s finest collections of old master prints. I shared my astonishment with the curator, asking how in the world one could assemble a collection of this magnitude. “Well, speaking of which,” the curator replied, “I would like to show you a superb example of Rembrandt’s most iconic, revered and sought after graphics, The Hundred Guilder.” I was looking at an early proof - nothing else could explain the richness of the image, so full and painterly. This artwork was a crowning example of the collection’s immeasurable quality, and it was unlike anything I had ever seen. I’ll never forget his response. “Sir, you must remember that it would be impossible to replicate an impression of this quality. In the 20th century, one would be unlikely to find anything of comparable quality for less than several million dollars.” Then, he elaborated. “However, the provenance of this particular impression is unique, acquired in the mid -1650s directly from the atelier of Clement de Jonghe, Rembrandt’s primary dealer.” He added, “at that time, it was possible to acquire a first rate Rembrandt etching; it would be virtually impossible for one to encounter today.”
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