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Saturday 5 August 2017

First and Second States of Sébastien Le Clerc’s “Rocky Landscape with River”, 1693 (continued)

Sébastien Le Clerc (aka Sébastien Leclerc) (1637–1714)
“Rocky Landscape with River”, 1693, plate 5 from a series of 12 landscapes, first published by Nicolas Langlois in 1693; a second edition was issued by Lamy in 1784. This is a first state impression from the first edition of 1693. (Note: by pure chance I discovered that I had two impressions of this print. By comparing the two prints, this is clearly the first state and the impression showcased earlier is from the second state.)

Etching on laid paper (1st state) with small margins.
Size: (sheet) 11.8 x 20.4 cm; (plate) 10.3 x 19 cm; (image borderline) 9.4 x 18 cm
Inscribed within the image borderline at the lower-left corner, “S. le Clerc. f.”, and numbered, “5”, below the image borderline at the lower-left corner.
State i (of ii)

IFF 1010.II (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930); Jombert 1774 107.5 (Charles-Antoine Jombert 1774, “Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre de Sébastien Leclerc, chevalier romain”, 2 vol, Paris)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

Condition: crisp impression, in near faultless condition for its age (i.e. there are no tears, holes, stains or foxing) and with small margins (varying in size but approximately 8 mm).

I am selling this stunning lifetime impression by the "graveur du Roi" for Louis XIV, Sébastien Le Clerc, for a total cost of AU$142 (currently US$112.57/EUR95.61/GBP86.35 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this small but graphically powerful etching of an idealised landscape, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

Close examination of the two states of this print reveals considerable reworking of the first state. In the second state, for example, Le Clerc has added more complexity to the modelling of the waterfall shown on the far-left as well including a grove of trees in the distance seen above the waterfall.

To my eyes however, the key difference separating both states is the softening of tonal contrasts that gives the image more pictorial coherence. For instance, note that the added modelling of the rocky terrain featured in the left foreground in the second state pictorially merges the goat shown in the lower-left (i.e. the goat is integrated as a part of the landscape rather than being a visual distraction as I perceive it to be in the first state).

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