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Two Framed Lithographs attr. Robert Mapplethorpe, 1980s

Attributed to Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989). An untitled 2 in 1 lithograph. Ca. 1980s. Two stamped lithographs of Classical Rape of the Sabine theme, the ancient story in which Roman soldiers forcefully took their brides in masse. The one on top is Jan Harmensz Muller (Dutch, 1571-1628) after Adriaen de Vries (Dutch, ca. 1545-1626) "The Rape of the Sabine Woman, Frontal View, ca. 1598) - see http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/123078. The composition, with dynamic twists and turns of the struggle, displays a masterful rendering in the fabulous Mannerist style. Mannerism emerged after the High Renaissance, inspired by the late works of Michelangelo that emphasized rippling musculature, elongated nudes, contorted poses, and eccentricity as opposed to the quiet harmonious compositions of artists of the High Renaissance such as Raphael. Size: engravings measure 14.875" L x 9.625" W (37.8 cm x 24.4 cm) and 11.75" W x 9.625" H (29.8 cm x 24.4 cm); 31.125" L x 18.125" W (79.1 cm x 46 cm) including mat and frame

Mapplethorpe was a gifted photographer who is best known for his homoerotic photographs and his unfortunate early death from AIDS at age 42 in 1989. In 2005, the Guggenheim Museum highlighted Mapplethorpe's interest in classical themes in the exhibition entitled, "Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Tradition: Photographs and Mannerist Prints." In this show, Mapplethorpe's "Thomas and Dovanna" (1986) was paired with Jan Harmensz Muller's "A Roman Abducting a Sabine Woman" from "The Rape of the Sabine Women" (16th century). See Mark Stevens' New York Magazine review of this exhibition which begins with this juxtaposition - http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/art/reviews/12308/. Stevens opens his review with a poignant observation, "The best thing about 'Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Tradition: Photographs and Mannerist Prints,' which recently opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, is that it lifts the gauzy filters. It treats Mapplethorpe as an artist, not just a gay artist, and situates him in the great tradition of classical art." (http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/art/reviews/12308/)

Condition: Has not been examined outside of the frame, but appears to be in overall excellent condition. Some minor tears to gallery paper on verso. Wired for suspension.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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