Friday, 12 October 2018

Alfred-Alexandre Delauney’s huge etching, “View of the Cologne Cathedral”, 1886


Alfred-Alexandre Delauney (1830-1895)

“View of the Cologne Cathedral” (aka “View of the Dom Church in Cologne” [Rijksmuseum title]), 1886 (as inscribed on plate), proof before titling, hand­-signed by Delauney, printed by A Clément (fl. c. 1887–92), published by Valadon & Cie. Kunsthandel Boussod (aka Goupil) (1827–1919) and Michael Knoedler & Co (fl.1846 –87) in London, Paris and New York (as inscribed on plate).

Etching on heavy laid paper (3.5 cm chain lines) with full margins as published, signed in pencil by the artist and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 93 x 65.5 cm; (plate) 76.8 x 52.5 cm; (image borderline) 72 x 49 cm
Hand-signed in pencil by Alfred-Alexandre Delauney below the image borderline at lower right.
Inscribed on plate above the image borderline: (right of centre) “April ts London Published by Boussod, Valadon & Co. successors to Goupil & Co. 116 & 117 New Bond Street W.and 9 Rue Chaptal Paris. Copyright registered”
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “'Berlin, Verlag von Boussod, Valadon & Co.”; (centre) “'Publié par BOUSSOD, VALADON & Co. Successeurs de GOUPIL & Cie 1er Avril 1885_ PARIS_LONDRES_LA HAYE”; (right) “New York_Published by M. Knoedler.”

Proof before the addition the title.

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
(transl.) “In the foreground a block of houses in a bird's-eye view. On the second ground, the towers of the church rise and cover the entire height of the print.” (http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.103096)

Condition: proof state richly inked and faultless impression but with a closed tear in the lower left margin and a few minor spots and signs of handling in the margins. The sheet is backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this visually arresting and technically breathtaking hand-signed proof state 19th century masterpiece of etching for AU$424 (currently US$301.84/EUR260.49/GBP228.48 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this awe inspiring, crowd stopping print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This is such a large print that when I hold it from its upper edges the sheet is waist high from the ground... a huge etching! Beyond its jaw-dropping and eye-popping size, the etching is a technical masterwork of the printmaker’s drawing skill and the printer’s dedication to the task of subtly capturing in this proof-state impression the finely rendered detail.

One feature of this amazing print that catches my eye is the perspective that Delauney employs in portraying the steeply rising towers of the cathedral. At first glance, the rules of perspective seem to be in place with the towers gently converging skywards to a far distant point in the zenith. On closer examination, however, Delauney’s manipulation of perspective becomes clearer. For example, the viewpoint for this scene is an elevated one—a high flying drone’s viewpoint almost midway up the towers—and yet we see the portico arches of the church as if from the viewpoint of a worm on the ground.







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