Downtown, the El. 1921. Etching. Zigrosser 134. Edition of approximately 275. 6 3/4 x 8 3/4 (sheet 9 1/2 x 12 1/4). Published by the New Republic, New York, and printed by Peter Platt. A rich, tonal impression with plate tone printed on the full sheet of cream wove paper. Signed in pencil. $4,250.
According to Zigrosser, the total edition of the New Republic portfolio exceeded 500, but the quota for Marin prints was divided between this print and another, Brooklyn Bridge and Lower New York, etching, 1913 (Zigrosser 106), therefore making Marin's prints scarcer than the Hopper, Sloan, Bacon, Miller and Haskell prints in the same portfolio.
Downtown, The El expresses the energy of the city through bold diagonal lines that cut across the composition. Marin said: “I see great forces at work – great movements – the large buildings and the small buildings – the warring of the great and the small -- influences of one mass on another. he said. His images express this interaction of elements, forces, and movement within the city.
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