Description

    An arresting study links two giants of American sport

    1965 Mickey Mantle Original Painting by LeRoy Neiman. "I used to go out to Yankee Stadium quite a bit," explained Neiman to our consignor as he reached out to him shortly before his passing for his thoughts on a work he'd owned for years. "Mickey Mantle served as my favorite subject in the line-up. This painting shows Mantle following his familiar crouch after waiting in the batter's circle. He threateningly makes his way to the plate swinging a big bat. He was never surprised when he sent a towering home run and neither was the expectant crowd." The greatest sports artist ever to hold a brush, Neiman was a fixture at practically every noteworthy sporting event of the second half of the twentieth century, never far from the action of Super Bowls, World Series and Championship fights.

    Among the most famous American artists of any age or genre, Neiman was likewise one of the most prolific, yet the enormous demand for his distinctive, kaleidoscopic works remains far from satiated. The continued upward trajectory of sale prices, a trend sure to continue in the wake of his recent passing, is firm evidence of this. And while the market booms across the full spectrum of his work, Neiman is most closely associated with two sports icons, both the most sought-after subjects in the master's oeuvre. First is Muhammad Ali, who appeared on a spectacular Neiman work that garnered $155,350 in the 2012 Heritage Platinum Night Auction. Next is Mickey Mantle, who likewise summitted the six-figure plateau in a recent Heritage event, commanding $119,500 in November of 2010.

    Here we present a second chance at the latter, a different but equally compelling study of the Commerce Comet. The oil on board masterpiece captures the calm before the storm as Mantle strides toward the plate, his fabled number "7" providing a solid anchor to the swirling vortex of heavily applied paint that has long served as the Neiman trademark. Perhaps it is the late-career production date, or the echoes of photographer Nat Fein's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Babe Bow Out," that makes this work feel a bit like a farewell to the iconic center fielder.

    The oil on board measures 10.5x21" in dimension, housed in its simple, original frame, which has been further enhanced by a modern shadow box treatment. Work is signed, "LeRoy Neiman '65" at lower right. Fine condition, with no caveats to report.




    1965 Mickey Mantle Original Painting by LeRoy Neiman.


    *A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.



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    Auction Dates
    February, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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