Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 13 April 2019

Ferdinand Gaillard's engraving, “La Joconde”, 1886

Ferdinand Gaillard (aka Claude-Ferdinand Gaillard) (1834–1887)

Impression from the unfinished plate originally commissioned by the Chalcographie du Louvre but left incomplete because of the engraver’s death, “La Joconde” (aka “Mona Lisa”), 1886, after a detail of Leonardo’s painting. This engraving was printed by Vernant from a fragment of Gaillard’s larger unfinished plate and published in the art review, “Byblis” (1924).

Burin engraving (note that the lines are exceptionally fine—almost microscopically fine) on buff-coloured wove paper.
Size: (sheet) 28.5 x 22.5 cm; (plate) 19.4 x 14.3 cm.
State x? (after state ix). The British Museum has four of the nine states leading up to this impression: (see: 1890,0415.138; 1890,0415.139; 1890,0415.140; 1890,0415.141).

Beraldi 1885-92 83 (unidentified state) (Henri Beraldi 1885, “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, 12 vols plus supplement, Paris); IFF 80 (Département des Estampes 1930, “Inventaire du Fonds, Français: graveurs du XVIIe siècle”, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale).

For a superb analysis of Gaillard’s contribution and historical context, see Stephen Bann’s article, “Photography by Other Means? The Engravings of Ferdinand Gaillard” in “The Art Bulletin”, vol. 88, No. 1 (Mar., 2006), pp. 119–138 (

Condition: finely executed, well-printed, faultless impression in near pristine condition as published.

I am selling this unfinished masterpiece of engraving by one of most famous of the nineteenth century engravers who is described by Félix Bracquemond (see my last post) as the “continuer and renovator of burin engraving” (see Bann’s [2006] article discussed above, p. 124), for the total cost of AU$198 (currently US$142.07/EUR125.72/GBP108.65 at the time of this listing) 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 remarkable unfinished engraving—note that this print has the attribute possessed by the best of portrait engravings: the “brilliant eye” described by Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1803) as “a piercing eye, full of fire” (Bann fn. 67)—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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