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Editions and Issue Price
The Great Farewell book is included with all editions
Limited Edition Limited to 9,999 Signed by Ken Danby and individually numbered
Facsimile signature of Wayne Gretzky embossed in gold
Print size: 32 1/4" x 26 1/2" Image: 26 1/2" x 22"
The Great Farewell book is included (as with all editions) $249
Artist's Proofs Limited to 999 Signed by Ken Danby and individually numbered
Signed by Wayne Gretzky
Blind embossed with the NHL logo
Print size: 32 1/4" x 26 1/2" Image: 26 1/2" x 22" $1599
Commemorative Edition Limited to 99 Signed by Ken Danby and individually numbered
Signed by Wayne Gretzky
Blind embossed with the NHL & New York Rangers logos
Gold embossed with "Final Game - April 18, 1999"
Print size: 32 1/4" x 26 1/2" Image: 26 1/2" x 22" $1899
Giclée Canvas Edition Limited to 199 Signed by Ken Danby and individually numbered
Signed by Wayne Gretzky
Full image on stretched canvas: 32 1/2" x 27" $2699
' The Great Farewell '
Wayne and Ken with the original portrait.
'The Great Farewell' is the perfect title because it's so appropriate
to my memories of the great response of the fans at my final game.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Wayne Gretzky, at the unveiling, 2001
May 4, 2001. The unveiling of Wayne Gretzky's official NHL retirement portrait took place in Studio 99, Wayne's media studio attached to his downtown
restaurant. The full house of media representatives shown in this photo subsequently featured the event on the news and in articles across the country.
The portrait was also seen later that night on Hockey Night in Canada during their interview of Wayne.
The Great Farewell Book
This 64 page full-colour book contains the story of the Official Wayne Gretzky Retirement Portrait, including 24 additional watercolour
which led to its creation. The book accompanies every reproduction print, and is only available with the print.
Mathematics, Astronomy and Curious Coincidences (from the book)
With guidance from an astronomy computer program and a physics professor, Ken Danby has placed Wayne Gretzky's farewell image into a beautiful
night sky just seconds before he left the ice forever as an NHL player. To be precise, the artist says, "The sky is shown as it was at 6:12 pm April 18, 1999,
but as if viewed
from a position in front of Wayne, on the ice of Madison Square Garden."
While creating Wayne's portrait, Ken Danby continually discovered intriguing symbolism and alignments between sky maps and his painting, as well as
occurrences of numbers 9 and 99 - so much so that he was led to create a book to document the process.
The Great Farewell book is the perfect provenance for your print and a valuable collector's item itself. It includes a foreword by Wayne; photos of Wayne signing
at the unveiling; an illustrated background essay by Chandler Kirwin, professor of art history; a chapter on the 'curious coincidences' mentioned above; plus all 24
that led to the final painting and the artist's commentary on each one.
AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
THE GREAT FAREWELL
The Great Farewell is a full-colour 64 page book which describes the creation of Wayne Gretzky's Official NHL Retirement Portrait and includes all 24
watercolour and pencil studies created by Ken Danby.
Mathematics, Astronomy and
In the course of creating The Great Farewell, Ken Danby discovered a considerable number of coincidences that continued to reinforce his concept.
Both conscious and intuitive decisions began to take on new meaning and reveal additional characteristics that were not anticipated. Some of these facts
simply reflect rather bizarre trivia, while others suggest a more profound irony and, therefore, add significant meaning to Danby's portrait of the Great One.
The following is a list of these facts.
The original painting measures 54" x 45". The sum of the digits in each of these numbers is 9.
When both numbers are added together (54 + 45), they total 99.
The total number of letters and numerals on Gretzky's team sweater equals 9.
The total number of red and white stripes on Gretzky's team sweater equals 9.
The final game took place on April 18th. The sum of the digits in this date (1 + 8) is 9.
The painting's background marks the exact time and date of Gretzky's final moments on the ice - 6:12:45 pm, April 18th, 1999 - by the depiction of the
early evening sky
at that precise moment. Note: The sky is unique every night. When viewed from a given place at the same time on different nights, the stars
and the planets will never appear in exactly the same positions. Of course, the stars and planets were not yet fully visible at 6:12 pm, since the sun still
remained well above the horizon (it didn't completely set until 8:05 pm). Nevertheless, they were there, relentlessly in motion as always, like an enormous
timepiece overhead - and the artist simply used his artistic license to emphasize this phenomenon. Therefore, this sky is like a clock-calendar,
frozen in time at 6:12:45 pm on April 18th, 1999. Gretzky left the ice for the last time at 6:13 pm.
For what it's worth, the hours and minutes of the time
6:12 pm, when added as individual numbers (6+1+2) equal 9, and when the digits in the seconds are added separately (4+5), they also equal 9.
Therefore, 6:12:45 pm can be interpreted as 99.
Danby initially decided to depict a view of the sky from the ice level of Madison Square Garden, facing due north. When this view was printed from a
computer's astronomy program for 6:12:45 pm, April 18, 1999, and overlaid on the chosen sketch of the figure, it offered a fascinating fit. However,
the complete path of the sun and planets (the ecliptic) remained just out of view. The artist then shifted the direction slightly - to north-north-west -
to include the ecliptic, and this placed the North Star exactly on one of the main two diagonals of the painting. The Milky Way then came into
perfect alignment with the figure, from the outstretched arm all the way through the body to the hand below, touching precisely along the letters
of the jersey. In other words, from the top hand to the bottom hand, the Milky Way is in absolutely parallel alignment with the image of Wayne Gretzky.
Views extracted from minutes earlier (i.e. 5:55 pm, when the game ended), did not reflect this same alignment, nor were the planets and constellations
nearly as effectively located. Note: Even though the Milky Way is not fully visible in the painting, its position and alignment remain an intriguing
reality as part of the celestial "clock" created behind Gretzky's image.