EDWARD WESTON (1886–1958)
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EDWARD WESTON (1886–1958)

Pepper No. 14, 1929

EDWARD WESTON (1886–1958)
Pepper No. 14, 1929
gelatin silver contact print, mounted on board
signed, dated, initialed and numbered '5/50' in pencil (mount, recto); inscribed 'Our vegetable love shall grow/ Vaster than empires, and more slow – / [Andrew Marvell –/ "To His Coy Mistress"]' (mount, verso)
image/sheet: 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (21.5 x 19 cm.)
mount: 11 3/8 x 10 1/4 in. (28.9 x 26 cm.)
This work is number five from an unrealized edition of fifty.
Jo Davidson, American sculptor (1883–1952);
by descent to the family of the above;
Paul M. Hertzmann, San Francisco;
the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, New York;
acquired from the above by the present owner, 2014.
Kathy Kelsey Foley, Edward Weston’s Gifts to His Sister, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, p. 8 and pp. 23-24.
Amy Conger, Edward Weston: Photographs from the Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, 1992, fig. 562/1929.
Gilles Mora (ed.), Edward Weston: Forms of Passion, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1995, p. 158.
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.


As documented in his Daybooks, Edward Weston recognized the summer of 1929 as the start of a particularly significant, prolific period in his career. He devoted much of this time to photographing vegetables, notably peppers of ‘marvelous convolutions’ whose intriguing forms enamored Weston so fully they distracted him from producing commissioned works. This infatuation with the pepper as ideal photographic subject is best explained by the artist himself:

I have done perhaps fifty negatives of peppers: because of the endless variety in form manifestations, because of the extraordinary surface texture, because of the power, the force suggested in their amazing convolutions.

This particular image, often referred to as 'the embrace,' was his most popular at the time. Other prints of this image reside in the institutional collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Huntington Library; the Indiana University Art Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the Special Collections of University of California, Santa Cruz and the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan.