Lithograph of the year 1946, "Ecclesiastes 4", from the artist's mid 1940's series interpreting themes from the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes, pencil signed at lower right and with "Ed. 40" and Cuno blind stamp in the margin at lower left. The sheet measures 21 5/8" by 16" (31" by 24 1/2" as framed). This is a mid-career work, one of 536 lithographs produced in a prolific career in the fine arts. Spruance, born in Philadelphia and associated with the city his entire life, began making prints in the very late 1920's and continued in that medium until his death in 1967. Spruance had his first solo show in 1933. He came to be known for works relating to mythological, religious, and Social Realist type subject matter. After the Second World War his prints became more expressionistic, dealing with wartime themes. Spruance is considered a highly important American printmaker, with a number of his images bringing from $25,000 to $50,000 at major auctions. Happily there is a wide price spectrum and some images such as this one are much more affordable, despite the low edition total of 40 examples. This example, acquired recently from a local home, is in excellent condition. (Allow for reflections in the glass in some images). The margins are wide, though the left side is cut irregularly, as shown. See the net for much more information on Spruance and his contributions to printmaking, especially his innovations in color lithography.
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