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Friday 12 August 2016

Flameng’s etching, “Deliverance of the Captives of Carcassonne”

Léopold Flameng (aka Léopold Joseph Flameng) (1831–1911)
“Délivrance des Emmurés de Carcassonne”(Deliverance of the Captives of Carcassonne), 1879, after a painting by Jean Paul Laurens (1838–1921) exhibited in the Salon of 1879, printed by Alfred Salmon (fl. 1863–94),” first published in “L'Art, 1879. This impression is from the sumptuous double volumes of MK Halévys “L’Eau-Forte”, 1888.
Etching on heavy cream wove paper (Japan/Arches)
Size: (sheet) 40.1 x 28.5 cm; (image borderline) 28.6 x 22.7 cm
Numbered above image: “Planche XXXIV”
Beraldi 1885-92 207; IFF 248

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Bernard Délicieux freeing prisoners from the Inquisition's jail in Carcassonne, after Laurens; the Franciscan friar stands on the left and addresses a crowd with both hands in the air while on the right a group of men is destroying the wall blocking the entrance of the jail; published in “L'Art, 1879” (

Condition: strong, well-inked and well-printed impression in good condition (i.e. there are no significant stains, tears, folds or signs of foxing, but there is a band of age-toning verso).

I am selling this original etching (with engraving) by Flameng for a total cost of ... [deleted] including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this fine print by one of the leading reproductive printmakers of the 19th century, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

MK Halévy, in the first volume of “L’Eau-Forte” (1888), offers a good account of what is illustrated in this etching by Léopold Flameng after Jean Paul Laurens’ painting of the same name (now in the Luxembourg museum):
“The people of Carcassonne have just attacked the wall of the inquisitorial dungeons to release the prisoners. In the centre, Jean de Picquigny, reformer of Languedoc, stands watching the invasion which he cannot prevent; the brother-miner, Bernard Délicieux, strives to pacify the mob” (p. xvi). (For those unfamiliar with this incident, the “storming” of the prison occurred in 1303 involving not only the local folk of Carcassonne, but also those of Albi.)

At the time of executing this print, Flameng was famous as a reproductive printmaker (i.e. an artist who translates paintings and other artworks into prints). His reputation was established by his very first etching: a copy of Rembrandt’s “Hundred Guilder Print” (see his graphic translation at This print was so good that Charles Blanc exclaimed: “He has imitated Rembrandt to a point that would deceive the master himself were he to return to this world” (FL Leipnik, 1924, p. 119).

Although this graphic translation is far from the incredibly sensitive rendering of Rembrandt’s masterpiece, I wish to draw attention to his treatment of the children portrayed in this print. Few artists have the skill to render the fine facial features of children when they are bathed in light. Note for example how Flemeng creates white lines to represent the children’s blonde hair, a feat that is not so straight forward when one is making an image only using black lines.

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