Jon Berg Fine Art
HENRY MILLER (1891-1980) original ink and watercolor painting signed and dated 1946

HENRY MILLER (1891-1980) original ink and watercolor painting signed and dated 1946

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Watercolor: Pre 1950: Item # 1416071

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2311 Schader Dr. #310
Santa Monica, CA 90404

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A rare opportunity to acquire a fine original drawing (13 1/4" by 10 3/8", and 20 1/2" by 16 1/2" in quality mid-century framing) by the world-famous American writer and painter HENRY VALENTINE MILLER (1891-1980). This work is very faintly signed, (and possibly also inscribed, just above the signature) at lower right and is dated there 1946, making it a rather earlier work. (Actually seems to read "8/46" or "18/46". From what I have read, this would not necessarily mean the eighth month of 1946, namely, August; he apparently numbered works as being the eighth, or the 17th, or the 24th, work produced in a given year, etc.). The (reddish ink, originally, I believe) signature has faded---and proved therefore difficult to photograph---but I guarantee it is there and I guarantee the work to be by Henry Miller. **The first photo of the signature is digitally enhanced to make it readable**; the other photos of the signature are more true to the way it actually appears to the naked eye. The work was acquired at a west side Los Angeles estate filled with art. The powerful study of a bearded man with beret, staring directly at the viewer, is quite soulful and artistic, standing on the shoulders of great artists like Chagall or Picasso. Henry Miller, the writer, needs no introduction, of course, seeing as that he is considered one of the important American writers of the 20th century. His detailed and informative Wikipedia entry discusses him "....developing a new sort of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association, and mysticism". Miller spent the 1930's in Paris, which proved to be a very rich period for him. "Tropic of Cancer" was published in 1934, "Black Spring" in 1936, and "Tropic of Capricorn" in 1939. These works were banned in the United States and Great Britain for many years, though smuggled copies are said to have influenced Beat Generation figures such as Jack Kerouac. By 1940 Miller was back in New York, and within two years after that, in California. Famously, in 1944 he moved to scenic and remote Big Sur on the rugged and wild central California coast, the immense peace providing him with a nurturing environment for creativity in writing and in watercolor painting, at which he proved quite adept. It is said that he painted more than 2,000 watercolors and produced some graphic work, all now sought after by collectors around the world. They appear with some frequency at American and European auctions, and the often modern or abstract subject matter is appealing to today's collectors. He was also appreciated in Japan---for a time there was a museum dedicated to him in Nagano, Japan. After Big Sur, Miller moved to Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, where he passed away in 1980, after a most rich and fascinating life that included five marriages.