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Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Etching 1916 Number II, drypoint, signed in pencil lower right, titled, numbered (No. 9) and dated lower left [also with initials and date in the plate lower right]. Reference: Roethel 154, only state, edition of 10. In excellent condition (the barest handling fold at sheet edge), printed on a heavy ivory wove paper, the full sheet with full margins, 4 7/8 x 3 1/4, the sheet 17 1/2 x 13 inches, archival mount with window mat.
A fine fresh impression of this great rarity, printed in a dark brown ink.
Kandinsky created this drypoint (erroneously named Etching 1916) in early 1916 while staying with Gabriel Munter in Stockholm during the winter of 1915-16. This is from the second series of drypoints he made; the first was in the year 1913-14.
The tiny size of this edition (10) makes this print a great rarity within the Kandinsky’s printed oeuvre (for comparison, his Kleine Welten series, issued later, in 1922, was published in an edition of 230).
Kandinsky had already moved decisively toward an abstract idiom all his own, and had established his reputation internationally by the time he created this drypoint. Before this his involvement with printmaking was mostly in woodcuts; much of this work had clearly identifiable imagery. But by 1911 he had (with Franz Marc) founded the Blaue Reiter group, and had written (although not published) his famed On the Spiritual in Art, a treatise which helps explain the meaning and force of the shapes and lines found in this fascinating and complex drypoint.