Perhaps once in a lifetime you will have an opportunity to buy such a volume of work.
70 original pencil signed or initialed unique ALL DIFFERENT woodcuts by the master. Almost all in very good or excellent condition. Keep them all or sort out and sell individually . A quick look around finds his woodcuts generally from 200. to 500. EACH in galleries.
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Hans Alexander Mueller was one of several prominent masters of woodcut and wood-engraving in Germany who were influential in the past century. (Among his protégés was the young Lynd Ward (1905-1985), who introduced the wood-engraved wordless novel to the United States, and who was the subject of the previous Fairchild Gallery exhibition, Lynd Ward: A Centennial Appreciation.)
Mueller provided forty-six color wood-engraved illustrations for the 1941New York/Random House edition of a translation of Don Quixote by Peter Anthony (né Pierre Antoine) Motteux (1660-1718) (see also in this exhibition the 1879 Edinburgh/William Paterson edition of Motteux). Of Mueller's work, editor and critic Edwin Seaver (1900-1987) wrote in the foreword, "Not since the drawings of Gustave Doré, it seems to me, have there been any illustrations for Don Quixote that can match these...."
For his popular 1939 text Woodcuts & Wood Engravings: How I Make Them, Mueller used one of his illustrations being prepared for the 1941 Don Quixote to demonstrate how the midtone (color) plate and the black plate (for shadows and details) combine against the white paper to produce images well-defined in volume and depth.
In 1950, a few years before the semiseptcentennial of Don Quixote, Mueller was commissioned by the Cleveland Print Club to produce a "membership edition" of a scene from the novel. (Print clubs often offer, as a benefit of membership, an original commissioned work available exclusively to members.) Mueller produced this charming two-color woodcut, representing as a "castle in the sky" the flurry of imagination that preceded Don Quixote's quest; his first adventure as a "knight-errant" was to be in chapter 2 at the inn, which he saw as "a castle with four turrets, the pinnacles of which were of glittering silver...."
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, The first part of the life and achievements of the renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha; trans. Peter Motteux (New York: Random House, 1941).
Hans Alexander Mueller, Woodcuts & Wood Engravings: How I Make Them (New York: Pynson Printers, 1939).
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