Battery (Belles). 1938. Engraving. Sasowsky 177.vi. 9 x 12 (sheet 10 5/16 x 13 1/2). Edition 3 proofs and also 20 lifetime impressions in this state printed by the artist, plus an additional 111 posthumous impressions. Provenance: ACA Galleries, New York; a private collection. A rich impression printed by Marsh on cream wove paper. Signed and annotated 'forty proofs' in pencil. Housed in a striking 16 1/8 x 19-inch black and silver modernist wood frame. $6,750.
The ship in the background is SS Normandie, an ocean liner built in Saint-Nazaire, France, for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT). She entered service in 1935 as the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat. She was designed to be the height of shipbuilding technology and modern culture. Her novel design and lavish interiors led many to consider her the greatest of ocean liners.
Marsh contrasts the elegant ocean liner with the tugboat, the woman in the foreground with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
The etching is similar in design to a 1938 watercolor, Battery Balles, or Belles of the Battery in the collection of the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown Ohio.
Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City, facing New York Harbor. The area and park are named for the artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city's early years to protect the settlement behind them. The Battery Park Conservancy, founded in 1994 by still-current President Warrie Price,undertook and funded the restoration and improvement of the park. In 2015, the New York City Department of Parks and the Battery Conservancy announced that the park would revert to its historic name, The Battery.
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