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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Ferdinand Gaillard’s etching, “Les Pélerins d'Emmaus”, 1884, after Rembrandt


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

“Les Pélerins d'Emmaus” (The Supper at Emmaus) (aka “Les Pelerins d'Emmaus” [The Pilgrims of Emmaus]), 1884, after the 1648 painting by Rembrandt (aka Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn) (1606–1669) in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv.no.1739 (Bredius 578) (see: http://rembrandt.louvre.fr/en/html/r13.html), printed by A Beillet (fl.1850–76) and published by the Société Française de Gravure—publishers founded in 1868 by Henriquel-Dupont at the Gazette des Beaux-Arts to publish plates for distribution to its membersin Paris.

Note: a watercoloiur by Ferdinand Gaillard of the same composition was auctioned by ARTCURIAL (Sale 2781, June 3, 2015): https://www.artcurial.com/en/lot-claude-ferdinand-gaillard-paris-1834-1887-les-pelerins-demmaus-dapres-rembrandt-harmenszoon-van.

Etching and engraving on chine collè (China) on heavy wove paper with wide margins as published.
Size: (sheet) 71 x 54.5 cm; (plate) 49 x 43.1 cm; (chine collé) 47.5 x 42.3 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Rembrandt f 164[8]”.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “REMBRANDT PINXT.”; (centre) “SOCIÉTÉ FRANÇAISE DE GRAVURE./ Imp. A. Beillet, Paris.”; (right) “F. GAILLARD SCULPT.”
State x (of x) with the addition of publication details.

Beraldi 43 (Henri Beraldi 1885-92, “Les graveurs du 19e siècle; guide de l'amateur d'estampes modernes”, vol. 6, Paris, L. Conquet, p. 208, cat. no. 43); IFF 73 (“Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes”, Paris, 1930).

Henri Beraldi (1885-92) in his catalogue raisonné offers the following insights about this print:
(transl.) “The engraver was probably tired of being told that he could only engrave calm and smooth paintings, so he wanted to show here a new face of his talent, by approaching Rembrandt and tackling color, that Gaillard … considered as a secondary thing or, according to its own expression, like a simple jam which one spreads on the drawing …” (vol. 6,  p. 208, cat. no. 43). 

Beradi proceeds to commend the print in that it (in translation) “reproduces with incredible fidelity the … slightest brushstroke of the original” and raises the interesting question: “But does it render … that ambient light which reigns the painting (when one sees it on a favourable day)?” (ibid.)

Note: the catalogue may be viewed online or downloaded free-of-charge from archive.org:

The British Museum offers the following description of this print”
“The supper at Emmaus, with Christ sitting in the middle, in front of architectural niche; after Rembrandt”

Condition: richly inked impression in museum-quality condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, stains or foxing). This is a superb copy of a huge print.

I am selling this large etching (with engraving) by arguably the finest engraver of the late 19th century who is famous for his remarkably his fine strokes—sometimes almost invisible!—rendering the most subtle of tonal transitions, for the total cost of AU$282 (currently US$172.23/EUR157.04/GBP139.22 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 masterpiece of 19th century reproductive printmaking executed with the documented purpose of showcasing the artist’s skill to translate the textures of Rembrandt’s painting into line, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This print has been sold












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