Henri de Grandmaison (aka Major Henri de Grandmaison; Henri Auguste Babin de Grandmaison) (1834–1906)—"A full colonel in the French army … stationed in North Africa during the 1860s” (see https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/BIOG253422)
For those who may be unfamiliar with De Grandmaison’s amazing prints, many of his etchings may be seen in the two volumes of William Forbes-Leith’s (1882), “The Scots Men-at-Arms and Life-Guards in France, from their Formation until their Final Dissolution, A.D. MCCCCXVIII–MDCCCXXX”. Archive.org offers and online view of these volumes: https://archive.org/details/thescotsmenatarmsandlifeguardsin/page/n288/mode/thumb; https://archive.org/details/thescotsmenatarmsandlifeguardsin1/page/n276/mode/thumb.
“They Slay, Die and Laugh” (Ils Tuent, Meurent et Rient), c1871, printed and published by Alfred Cadart (1828–1875) in Paris as an illustration to the refrain of an old Scandinavian song, “Ils Tuent, Meurent et Rient” (as inscribed on the plate)—a refrain that Bernard Gineste (2005) insightfully proposes in his blog (http://www.corpusetampois.com/cae-19-grandmaison-ilstuent.html) was in circulation at the time as revealed by reference to the refrain on page 33 in Théophile Gautier’s (1811–1872) “Avatar: or, The Double Transformation” (see https://archive.org/details/avatarordoubletr00gautuoft/page/32/mode/2up).
Etching with plate tone on wove paper with wide margins and centre-fold (flatted), backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 35.4 x 27.6 cm; (plate [soft]) 23.9 x 16.1 cm; (image borderline) 20.9 x 13.4 cm.
Inscribed on the plate with the artist’s monogram: (lower right corner) (ligature) “HG”.
Lettered on the plate below the image borderline: (left) “H. de Grandmaison, del. et sc.”; (centre) “(( ILS TUENT, MEURENT ET RIENT ))/ (Refrain d’un vieux Chant Scandinave)”; (right) “A.CADART, Edit.Imp.Paris.”
Beraldi (not catalogued) (Henri Beraldi 1885–92, “Les graveurs du 19e siècle; guide de l'amateur d'estampes modernes”, vol. 7, Paris, L Conquet, p. 201; see https://archive.org/details/lesgraveursdu19e07berauoft/page/200/mode/2up).
Condition: a well-printed impression with even plate tone and generously wide margins. The sheet has a centre-fold (as published?) but this is flattened with the laying of the sheet onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.
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