See colour illustration of part lot
The intimacy of the nearest and dearest is subject of Jan Mankes' printmaking. Just as in his paintings and sketches we find mice, a goat and a hen in his etchings. His wife, himself and his father are portrayed in his woodcuts, as well as the garden and the local landscape.
Close observations in the drawings included in the present lot are related to the fifty-two prints Jan Mankes made in between 1911 and 1918.
Lithographs were not his favorites. The shipping of the heavy and vulnerable stones was too complicated and the waiting for trial proofs took Mankes' too much time.
Etchings were appreciated much better. In 1911 he tried to print his first plate on his mother's mangle, but not untill he aquired his own etching-press in 1912, he steadily improved his skills, culminating in the monumental Grote Haan. The animal stands on one leg easily in a natural setting of grasses, whereas it posed for Mankes in his studio, cought in an upside-down table with wire netting.
In his woodcuts as in his etchings Jan Mankes strove for refinement.
Over time he choose his blocks stronger and his needles sharper. his woodcuts evolved into woodengravings, from the Kraai in 1913 to the Parelhoen in 1917.
The vast majority of Mankes' prints is black. Only occassionally heightened with brush and paint. Mankes tried to print in colours at least once. The woodblock Stoel (1913, included in this lot) shows the outlines of the subject whereas on the reverse the parts for coloured fields stand out. A print of this block is in the collection of the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam, where the blocks and plates were cleaned and restored after Mankes' death and before their return to his widow Annie. These matrixes were in family hands till the present day.