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.
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2017 December 10 Yankee Legends Collection Sports - Dallas