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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Alphonse Legros’ drypoint and etching, “Portrait of Léon Gambetta”, c1878, with Léon Gambetta’s ex-libris label attached verso


Alphonse Legros (1837–1911)

“Portrait of Léon Gambetta”—a French politician/statesman (1838–1882)—with Léon Gambetta’s ex-libris label “Vouloir C’est Pouvoir” (To want is to be able/ /Where there is a will, there is a way) attached verso annotated by a hand-written ink inscription below it. Note that Alphonse Legros also etched a similar ex-libris label for Léon Gambetta featuring a crowing Gallic rooster in a sunset (see https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_2004-U-31 and https://archive.org/details/catalogueraisonn00poul_0/page/114/mode/2up). Interestingly, Gambetta may never have used Legros’ etching (see J. -C. Wiggisloff 1905, “Dictionnaire des dessinateurs et graveurs d'ex - libris francais”, Paris, p.141) and this attached label reveals that his choice of ex-libris label has many of the same features.

Drypoint and etching with pale plate-tone printed in dark brown ink on cream wove paper with wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 38 x 27.2 cm; (plate) 22.5 x 15.5 cm; (image borderline) 19.5 x 14.6 cm. Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “A. Legros.”; (centre) “L. GAMBETTA.”

IFF 112 (Département des estampes 1950–, “Inventaire du fonds français après 1800”, vol. 13, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, p. 396, cat. no. 112).

See also the descriptions of this print offered by the British Museum and the Rijksmuseum: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1931-1215-12; http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.139037.

Condition: a strong, richly inked and well-printed impression. There is a closed tear at lower left and the sheet is slightly dusty, otherwise it is in an excellent condition with no holes, folds, losses, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this remarkably expressive portrait of Léon Gambetta before he became the président du Conseil (i.e. the French Prime Minister) in 1881, along with his ex-libris label attached verso with an hand-written ink inscription below it, for AU$288 (currently US$206.67/EUR175.90/GBP159.21 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 probably unique impression with its attached ex-libris label of the portrayed sitter, 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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