A Chelsea art gallery is displaying a rare complete collection of Andy Warhol's "A La Recherche Du Shoe Perdue".
The portfolio, a collaboration between poet Ralph Pomery and the pop art pioneer, contains 17 lithograph portraits of shoes hand coloured by Warhol and friends and captioned by his mother Julia Warhola.
The captions were created by Pomery and lettered in Warhol's mother's distinct handwriting. Julia Warhola also made a mistake on the cover, writing "Pecherche" instead of "Recherche", indicating this is one of the earlier portfolios she titled.
The tile draws inspiration from Marcel Proust's "À la recherché du temps perdu" and fairy tale Cinderella.
The coveted prints are on display for £200,000 at the Peter Herrington Gallery in Fulham Road, Chelsea.
Six of Warhol's works are among the top 50 most expensive portraits ever sold, while two were sold for over $100 million.
Printed in New York, the lithograph heets were then hand-coloured by Warhol and his friends at "coloring parties" he hosted.
Warhol's early career was as a commercial artist and illustrator, with one of his first commissions being shoe portraits for GLAMOUR magazine.
The then art director Tina Fredericks allegedly had to explain to Warhol that it was not necessary to represent the shoes with so much personality, but rather to show them unworn.
Warhol later remembered: “When I used to do shoe drawings for the magazines, I would get a certain amount for each shoe, so then I would count up my shoes to figure out how much I was going to get. I lived by the number of shoe drawings - when I counted them I knew how much money I had."
Later, in 1955, Warhol was commissioned by shoemaker I. Miller to produce weekly shoe ads for the New York Times. Warhol's self-published shoe portfolio was released at the same time.
The portfolio also includes a rare double-sized illustration of a boot with no caption, similar to another work of his, "Gee, Merrie Shoes".
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