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Thursday 2 July 2020

Henry Augustin Valentin’s etching, “Le Christ Mort”, 1859, after Hans Holbein the Younger

Henry Augustin Valentin (1822–1886)

“Le Christ Mort” (title inscribed on plate), 1859, after Hans Holbein the Younger’s (c1497–1543) oil and tempera painting, “The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb” (1520–22) in the Musée de Bâle (Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel), printed by Albert Quantin (1850–1930) and published in 1859 in Paris in the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”, vol. 44, insert between pp. 98–99.

This print may be viewed in context in “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”, vol. 44, at

Regarding Holbein’s painting, Wikipedia cites the interesting proposal by the art historians, Oscar Bätschmann and Pascal Griener, that Christ's raised and extended middle finger appears to "reach towards the beholder", while his strands of hair "look as if they are breaking through the surface of the painting" (Oskar Bätschmann, & Pascal Griener 1999, “Hans Holbein”, London, Reaktion Books, p. 88;

Etching on cream laid paper printed in a warm black ink with full margins as published.
Size: (sheet) 31 x 45.1 cm; (plate) 12.6 x 34.6 cm; (outer image borderline) 7.7 x 31.3 cm.
Lettered on plate along the upper edge of the image: “IESVS·NAZARENVS·REX·IVDAEORVM” (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews)
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Hans Holbein pinx/ Gazette des Beaux-Arts”; (centre) “Le Christ Mort/ (Musée de Bâle); (right) “H. Valentin sculp/ Imp. A Quantin”.

Condition: richly inked and well-printed, faultless, impression with generous, full margins as published. The sheet is in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, losses, abrasions, foxing or significant stains—but there is pale age-toning at the edges and a mark from the original tissue-guard attachment at the top edge).

I am selling this visually arresting etching of Holbein’s famous painting of Christ’s entombed body shown stretched by crucifixion with eyes and mouth open in an early stage of putrefaction—for AU$207 in total (currently US$143.48/EUR127.17/GBP114.72 at the time of posting 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 seldom seen etching on the art market, 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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