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Monday 26 June 2023

Ferdinand Gaillard’s engraving, “Léon XIII”, 1880

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

“Léon XIII”, 1880, engraving of Pope Leo XIII (aka Gioacchino Vincenzo Pecci) (1810-1903), printed by Charles Chardon aîné (fl. mid-1800s; Charles Chardon [1832–1896]) and published in Paris in the art periodical, “Gazette des Beaux Arts” (1st September, 1880), inserted between pages 210 and 215.

The Curator of the British Museum advises: “The print was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1880 (no.7010)” (

Engraving on chine collé on wove paper trimmed with a small margin around the platemark and backed with a support sheet providing wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 24.9 x 17.2 cm; (plate) 23.7 x 16.8 cm; (chine collé) 22.3 x 15.3 cm; (image borderline) 17.3 x 13 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “F. GAILLARD del. et sc./ Gazette des Beaux Arts”; (centre) “LÉON XIII”; (right) “Salon de 1880/ Imp. Ch. Chardon aîné”.

Final state as published in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts. According to Beraldi (1887), the final state is state vi (of vi) but this must be a state after the sixth as the lettering does not match Beraldi’s description (see p. 204).

Beraldi 39 (Henri Beraldi 1887, “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, Paris, Librairie L. Conquet, vol. 6, pp. 204–07, cat. no. 39; see:; IFF 68.

For a superb analysis of Gaillard’s contribution and historical context, see Stephen Bann’s article, “Photography by Other Means? The Engravings of Ferdinand Gaillard” in “The Art Bulletin”, vol. 88, No. 1 (Mar., 2006), pp. 119–138 (

Condition: a strong and well-printed (near faultless) impression trimmed with a small margin around the platemark and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this exceptionally fine and very beautiful engraving by one of most famous of the nineteenth century engravers who is described by Félix Bracquemond as the “continuer and renovator of burin engraving” (see Bann [2006], p. 124), for the total cost of AU$208 (currently US$139.03/EUR125.79/GBP110.73 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 remarkable print by an engraver with skills that (arguably) will never be surpassed—note the finely rendered, near microscopic, details that are inscribed solely by hand—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. 

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