Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more

Three Kings and a Queen

Three Kings and a Queen
etching and aquatint with pen and ink additions, 1961, on wove paper, watermark J Whatman 1956, signed and dated in pencil, inscribed Queen in grey and black ink in the subject, a working proof before burnishing to the aquatint on the second figure at left and before the published edition of approximately fifty, with narrow margins at left and right, wide margins above and below, several uninked printer's creases in the subject, in good condition, framed
Plate 230 x 655 mm., Sheet 490 x 689 mm.
Ian Bennett (?-2014), London.
Acquired by the present owner in the early 1980's.

See Scottish Arts Council 7; Tokyo 7
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Further details
Inspired by illustrations in a book on the history of card games, Three Kings and a Queen belongs to a series of works begun in the autumn of 1960. In each of these images the letter K identifies the figure as a king. Here, its omission on one of the figures designates this king as a 'queen', a witty visual pun and appropriation of the slang term for homosexual.

Alistair Grant, Head of Printmaking at the Royal College of art, found Three Kings and a Queen in the drying racks of the Print Room and entered it, without informing Hockney, into an etching revival exhibition The Graven Image with Robert Erskine, at St George's Gallery, London. Hockney won a prize of £100 for the etching, which funded his first trip to New York in the summer of 1961.

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Alice L'Estrange
Alice L'Estrange

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