Alphonse Charles Masson (aka Alphonse Masson) (1810/141898)
“Saint Francis of Assisi Kneeling in Prayer” (aka “Kneeling Monk”; “Moine Agenouillé” [Beraldi title]), 1849, after Francisco de Zurbarán’s (aka Francisco Zurbarán) (1598–1664) painting, “St Francis in Meditation”, originally exhibited in the Galerie Espagnole at the Louvre between 1838 to 1848, and now the National Gallery, London, published in Paris by the Chalcographie du Louvre (fl.1797–) and dry-stamped with the seal of the Louvre Chalcographie.
Engraving and etching on heavy cream wove paper with wide margins and the dry stamp of the Louvre Chalcographie.
Size: (sheet) 63.3 x 45.3 cm; (plate [soft impression]) 37.6? x 24.6? cm; (image borderline) 30.3.3 x 20.8 cm.
Inscribed in plate below the image borderline: “Zurbaran — Alp Masson.”
Dry-stamped with the seal of the Chalcographie du Louvre below the platemark at centre.
Beraldi 5 (Henri Beraldi 1889, “Les Graveurs du XIXe Siècle: LAEMLEIN–MÉCOU”, Paris, Librairie L. Conquet, vol. IX, p. 247, cat. no. 5 [Estampes diverses: Moine agenouillé]).
The National Gallery (London) offers the following insights regarding Francisco de Zurbarán’s painting, “St Francis in Meditation”: “This is one of Zurbarán’s most austere and intensely spiritual works. Saint Francis is shown kneeling in fervent prayer, his clasped hands cradling a skull. Shadow obscures his face, giving us only a glimpse of his features. He wears the robe of the Franciscans, the religious order he founded in the thirteenth century; its patched and tattered appearance draws to mind the vow of poverty taken by all the order’s members.
Zurbarán shows the saint in a moment of profound contemplation, his head tilted upwards and mouth slightly open. The skull is a symbol of death and refers to Christ’s crucifixion. Meditation on death was particularly favoured by the Jesuits, and saints contemplating skulls are frequently found in seventeenth-century Italian and Spanish painting” (https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/francisco-de-zurbaran-saint-francis-in-meditation-1).
Condition: a richly inked and near faultless impression with generously wide margins in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.
I am selling this superb translation of Zurbarán’s painting into an engraving—note how Masson has captured the heavy folds of the monk’s long robe (habit) and hood compared to the thinner material of his upper tunic, and how the treatment of these materials contrast with the suggestion of stiffness in the rendering his cord belt (cincture)—for AU$308 (currently US$205.87/EUR186.27/GBP163.97 at the time of this listing, but please be aware that purchases are made in Australian dollars only as this is my currency) 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 absolutely stunning engraving (with etching), please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold