Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 27 August 2023

Claude Lorrain’s etching, “L’Enlèvement d’Europe”, 1634

Claude Lorrain (aka Claude Gellée; Le Lorrain; Claudio di Lorena) (1600–1682)

“L’Enlèvement d’Europe” (aka “The Rape of Europa”; “Coast Scene with Europa and the Bull”), 1634, printed from the original plate and published in 1816 by J. McCreery in the “200 Etchings” folio.

Etching on wove paper, trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and with a section of an engraving from the 1784 Paris edition of “Stirpes Novae” shown verso (documented as a feature of the McCreery impressions; see Mannocci [1988] p. 28).

Size: (sheet) 20 x 26.1 cm; (image borderline) 19.6 x 25.6 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (on stone at lower right) “CLAUDIO GILLE/ I.N.V. F. Romae 1634.”

State vii (of vii) as published in the 1816 edition of 200 Etchings with the inscription, “42 p 4” from state vi erased.

Mannocci 14 (Lino Mannocci 1988, “The Etchings of Claude Lorrain”, New Haven, Yale University Press, pp. 105–111, cat. no. 14, seventh state); Blum 9; Robert-Dumesnil 22; Duplessis 22; Russell 21.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “The rape of Europa; Europa on the bull, surrounded by women, a group of women picking flowers on the right, antique temple in ruins and tower on the left and fleet in the background. 1634” (

Regarding the plate for these studies (and the others printed by McCreery, Andrew Brink (2013) in “Ink and Light: The Influence of Claude Lorrain’s Etching on England” (McGill Queen’s University Press) offers the following insight: “The plates of Claude’s etchings disappeared without trace as mysteriously as they had first come to London” (p. 74). From my very unreliable memory, I recall being told in a chat with a “knowledgeable friend” who was told by another “knowledgeable friend” that the plates were discovered as wrecked ballast on a ship, but this information may be far from the truth.

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression, showing minor signs of wear to the printing plate, trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline in an excellent/near pristine condition with no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, significant stains, foxing or signs of handling. Note that the verso shows a section of an engraving from the 1784 Paris edition of “Stirpes Novae” (documented as a feature of the McCreery impressions).

I am selling this amazing etching described by H. Diane Russell (1982) in “Claude Lorrain 1600–1652” (Nat. Gallery of Art Washington, exh. cat.) as “technical perfection” in which Claude has “successfully translated the properties of … [his painting upon which this etching is based] into etching, articulating the large volumetric forms, the ample space, and the luminous and atmospheric effects that permeate and unite the image” (pp. 338–39), for the total cost of AU$398 (currently US$264.69/EUR239.49/GBP210.82 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 superb and large (or at least largish) etching by one of the most famous of all landscape artists, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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