Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Léon Gaucherel’s etching, “La Jeune Fille et la Mort”, 1880, after Sarah Bernhardt

Léon Gaucherel (1816­–1886)

“La Jeune Fille et la Mort” (The Maiden and Death), 1880, after the painting, “La mort glisse en son rêve, et, tout bas: Viens, dit-elle, l'amour c'est l'éphémère, et je suis l'immortelle” (Death slips into her dream, and, very low: Come, she said, love is ephemeral, and I am the immortal), exhibited in the Salon of 1880 (no. 269) by the actress, painter and sculptress, Sarah Bernhardt (aka Rosine Bernard) (1844–1923), printed in Paris by François Liénard (fl.c. 1860s–1880s) and published in the French periodical, “L’Art”, volume XXI, 1880.

Etching on cream laid paper (partial Arches watermark) with wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 42.6 x 27 cm; (plate) 33 x 17.9 cm; (image borderline) 29.5 x 14.6 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (upper left) “THE YOUNG GIRL”; (upper right) “AND DEATH”; (lower right) “SARAH BERNHARDT 1880”.

Lettered in plate: (upper centre) “SALON DE 1880.”; (lower left) “Mlle Sarah Bernhardt pinx./ L’Art.”; (lower centre) “LA JEUNE FILLE ET LA MORT”; (lower right) “L. Gaucherel, sc./ F. Liénard,Imp Paris.”

IFF 160 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Young woman and death, after Sarah Bernhard; a young woman seen standing full-length, facing front, holding a flower, and Death standing behind her, covered by a veil” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with generously wide margins. Beyond a mark at upper left (above Death) and a soft fold on the lower left corner, the sheet is in very good (near pristine) condition with no tears, holes, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this curiously wonderful etching after the painting by the actress, Sarah Bernhardt, showing the bitter-sweet moment when a young actress is “showered” with flowers at the end of a performance, but with the sad realisation—expressed by her melancholic expression and (arguably) the symbolism of the ephemeral dragonfly flying/circling near her—that her moment of glory will pass in death—personified tapping on her shoulder—for a total cost of AU$254 (currently US$180.91/EUR160.41/GBP136.97 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 amazing etching, 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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