Monday, 4 July 2016
Ferdinand Gaillard’s portrait, “Monseigneur de Ségur”
Ferdinand Gaillard (aka Claude Ferdinand Gaillard) (1834-87)
“Monseigneur de Ségur” (Louis-Gaston de Segur), c1880
Etching on cream wove paper
An early proof before lettering
Size: (sheet) 26.5 x 22.8 cm; (plate) 12.6 x 10.3 cm
Condition: rich proof impression with wide margins in near pristine condition—there is a tiny mark on the left and lower margin.
I am selling this powerfully confident original etching by a master from the 19th century for a total cost of AU$198 (currently US$142.07/EUR125.72/GBP108.65 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this amazing portrait where the artist has engaged in fully examining each bump on the Monseigneur’s face—an approach known as haptic in the sense that the artist portrays surfaces and forms like a blind person might “feel” them—please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
For those who like to compare portraits of the same sitter by two different artists, this pair of images is revealing (the print on the right is discussed in the previous post). The left image, by Gaillard, shows the strength and confidence of a master draughtsman. By this I mean that each stroke is there for a reason. Gillard’s approach is what is commonly termed “haptic.” It is an approach driven for the artist’s interest in finding visual equivalents for expressing surfaces and forms like a blind person might “feel” the subject. As a consequence of this approach, each bump in Monseigneur’s face is like a battlefield of pits and bumps.
By comparison, the right image, by Burney— a masterly etched copy of Gaillard’s original painting—recreates in line the critical features that Burney observed in Gaillard’s painting. Although I would not suggest, even for an instant, that Burney’s portrait is not a psychological portrayal of the Monseigneur; after all, it is a hauntingly powerful study of a man with a commanding presence. Nevertheless, Gaillard’s portrait is fundamentally about portraying the facture and tone of Gaillard’s painted portrait.
In short, the essential differences of approach separating these two portraits is about:
- Gaillard’s sensuous recreation of Monseigneur’s face by “finding” it using marks replicating the effects of physical touch, and
- Burney’s mimetic replication of what he observed in the original painting of the Monseigneur.