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The Oculist Witnesses by Richard Hamilton (after Marcel Duchamp) 1968


So special: part homage, part art object - a beautifully produced piece from 1968 that makes anyone involved in printing swoon, never mind admirers of Marcel Duchamp and Richard Hamilton. 

The image itself is a photograph of one great artist by another - Duchamp by  Hamilton. The story behind it bears some explanation:

Duchamp, titan of modern art, created The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) between 1915-1923. He considered it his most important single work. Hamilton was a friend and great admirer of Duchamp. He was asked to organise a major Duchamp retrospective at the Tate in 1966. Hamilton decided to make a full-scale reconstruction of The Bride because the original - all nine shattered feet of it - was too fragile to travel from its home at Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

When Duchamp came to London for the exhibition opening, he agreed to sign the work and inscribed it on the back 'Richard Hamilton | pour copie conforme | Marcel Duchamp | 1965' (‘for a faithful replica’). The Englishman photographed his French hero holding a piece of glass bearing the oculist witnesses, which form part of The Bride Stripped Bare, thus creating the image that is seen here.

This extraordinary poster was produced with great care by Petersburg Press in 1968. The part of the image that shows glass has a shiny surface. The details of the oculist witnesses are printed in metallic silver. The rest of the surface is matt. 

The following text is stylishly printed on the reverse: 'MARCEL DUCHAMP The 'oculist witnesses' a detail from the reconstruction by Richard Hamilton of the large glass 'The bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even' Petersburg Press London' © Petersburg Press London 1968 Printed in England

Approximate dimensions: 58.5 x 79.7 cm

This poster was printed in 1968 and its condition is very good - there is some minor creasing, surface cracks and imperfections, consistent with its age. Please hang away from direct sunlight to reduce fading.

As with everything we sell online, you are most welcome to come and inspect this work in real life at Salts Mill. Should you wish to see this specific item, please call in advance on 01274 531163 or email