Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Jean Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine’s pair of miniature etchings from “Tètes Polonaises,” 1774–1789

Jean Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine (aka Jean Pierre Norblin de la Gordaine) (1745–1830)

(left) “Head of a Man with Short Hair,” 1778, from the series of 15 plates, “Tètes Polonaises” (Polish Heads) (Hillemacher 64–78), inscribed on plate (left) “N[f]/ 1778”, state ii (of ii) with monogram and date, Hillemacher 75 (Frederic Hillemacher 1848, “Catalogue des estampes qui composent l'oeuvre de Jean-Pierre Norblin,” Paris, Lacrampe et Fertiaux, p. 40, cat. no. 75); see the description of this print at the British Museum:

(right) “Head of a Man with a Fur Cap in Profile, Facing Left,” 1774–1789, from the series, “Tètes Polonaises”, state i (of i), Hillemacher 73; see the description of this print at the British Museum:

Etchings on ivory wove (China) paper with small margins and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheets cut unevenly) 3.5 x 3.1 cm; (left oval plate) 1.8 x 2.1 cm; (right oval plate) 2.2 x 2.6 cm.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) offers the following insight about the artist:
“Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine was a French painter and printmaker active in Poland in the late 18th century. Norblin's charming miniature etchings, representing mostly male heads, street sellers, and vagabonds, reflect both in subject and technique the profound influence of Rembrandt's prints. Norblin was also drawn to Polish subjects, capturing the unfamiliar, exotic world around him in his depictions of men with colossal fur hats and curled moustaches, Cossacks, and Polish historical figures”

Condition: well-printed impressions with small margins laid onto separate support sheets of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. Both sheets have a spot stain in the margin and the right print has a restored corner.

I am selling this pair of very small jewels of etching—the oval images are approximately the size of a thumbnail—by one of the most important artists of the Enlightenment in Poland for AU$500 in total for the pair (currently US$356.69/EUR304.44/GBP277.26 at the time of posting these printa) 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 pair of miniature masterworks from the 1700s following in the tradition of Rembrandt's use of dramatic (chiaroscuro) lighting, but where the rendering of the faces occupy no more space than the size of a pea, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This pair of prints has been sold

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