Ernest Haskell Hand Signed Color Lithograph Becky Sharp 1899 NY


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Title: Becky Sharp (Mrs. Fiske)
Artist: Ernest Haskell - (1876-1925) - American artist
Technique: Original Lithograph
Signature: Signed and inscribed in ink by the artist.
Date Published: 1899
Edition: Limited Edition
Dimensions: Sheet size - 6-5/8 x 9-3/8 inches, Image size - 5 x 7-1/2 inches.
Condition: Overall good condition with some age toning in the margins and a stain at the bottom of the sheet well away from the image. The sheet is laid down on a backing board. Even with these condition issues the print still presents well and is a rare find in any condition.
References: Works by Ernest Haskell can be found in many public and private collections.
Printing: A strong impression printed in black and red ink on cream wove paper.
Presentation: Placed in an acid free ivory mat with archival materials. Ships in a plastic archival sleeve.
Description: In the late 1800s a young Ernest Haskell established himself as an in demand artist for the New York theater scene. He produced illustrations, playbills, and posters. This lithograph titled "Becky Sharp" shows the prominent American stage actress Mrs. Fiske in costume for the part of Becky in an adaptation of the William Thackeray novel Vanity Fair. The play debuted on Broadway at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in 1899.

This print likely appeared in a publication at the time. This one is unique since it is signed in brown ink at the bottom by Haskell and inscribed to the collector John Brainard. We have not been able to find another example of this work online.

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Ernest Haskell was born in Connecticut and received his art training in Boston and Paris, where in 1897 he studied the paintings and drawings of Manet, Daumier, and Degas as well as the works of the Old Masters. He was also enrolled for a short time at the Academie Julian in Paris.

Back in New York in 1898, Haskell continued to learn and refine his skills in many areas including lithography. In 1899 he held an exhibition of his drawings and lithographs at the Pratt Institute and met with success creating theatrical posters and caricatures.

Haskell’s interest in etching was influenced by James Whistler after he completed two caricatures of the famous American artist, and he again traveled to England, where Whistler lived.

In the years up to his death in 1925, etching and printmaking were Haskell’s main focus. It was his meticulous perseverance with the etching needle that produced the minute detail of each leaf and branch shown, in every tree of his landscapes created in Maine, California, and Florida.

In his studio Haskell used a variety of tools to create the effects he was able to achieve in his etchings and drypoints. As a printer, he ground his own inks and took great care to produce prints that reflected his artistic vision.

Haskell died in an automobile accident in 1925 while returning New home to Maine after setting up an exhibition in New York.

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