Jessie Marion KING
(New Kilpatrick 1875 - Kirkcudbright 1949)
Book Cover for Werke Alter Meister, Berlin
Signed and dated JESSY. M. KING. 1902 at the lower left.
Inscribed WERKE - ALTER – MEISTER / 1 KÖNIGL. / MUSEUM – BERLIN at the top.
338 x 272 mm. (13 1/4 x 10 3/4 in.) [sheet]
PREVIOUS PRICE: £3,500
SALE PRICE: £3,000
The present sheet is the printed cover of the art book Werke Alter Meister, a collection of photographs of Old Master paintings in the collection of the Royal Museum in Berlin, published by Globus Verlag in 19022. This design is aptly described by the King scholar Colin White as, ‘Together with [Musik und Gesang]…the most splendid covers that J[essie] M[arion] King] ever devised. They form a fitting climax to her work for Globus.’ The young girl placed prominently in the centre of the design, ‘dressed in a high-waisted, ankle-length robe, with her hair in heavy coils held in place by a large full-blown rose behind the ear’, was to serve as a model for much of the future work for which King was to become so well known. As White further notes: ‘The maidens on the Globus covers were the prototypes of all the forlorn princesses that Jessie was ever to draw. Their faces, usually in profile or three-quarter view, were not always beautiful...Jessie’s princesses were attractive because they looked ingenuous and helpless, rather than arrogant in their beauty.’
Colin White has further noted of this particular design that ‘The signature, with a ‘y’ at the end of the artist’s name, is believed to be unique in her book designs; all other recorded signatures from 1902 use ‘Jessie’'.
Acquired by a private collection, Oxfordshire.