Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 20 March 2021

Léon Bonnat’s etching, “Léon Cogniet”, 1881

Léon Bonnat (aka Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat) (1833-1922)

“Léon Cogniet”—French painter and printmaker (1794–1880), 1881, a rare “bon à tirer” proof impression (i.e. a “good to print” contractual verification proof for the printer as a print quality reference for the published edition), hand-inscribed in ink by Louise Gonse (1846–1921)— Editor-in-Chief of the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”—after Bonnat’s painting of Cogniet (see This print was employed as a guide to the etching published in Paris in the 1881 issue of the art journal, “Gazette des Beaux-Arts” (page 43) by Cadart ([fl.1875–1882] publishing house managed by the widow of Alfred Cadart following Alfred’s death in 1875).

Etching on laid paper (Arches), hand-inscribed in ink (with inky finger prints) by the Editor-in-Chief of “Gazette des Beaux-Arts” as the bon à tirer proof impression with wide margins backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 26.2 x 20.8 cm; (plate) 17.8 x 12.8 cm; (image borderline) 13.2 x 10 cm.

Handwritten annotation in ink at upper-left advising format specifications for the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts” signed by Louis Gonse (editor-in-chief): “Bon [à] Tirer/ à 2.350 format Gazette/ 25 avec letter ¼ Colombier/ L Gonse”. (My apologies if my reading of this inscription is faulty.)

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “L.Bonnat, pinx. et sc./ Gazette des Beaux-Arts.”; (centre) “LÉON COGNIET”; (right) “Imp. Cadart, Paris.”

Lifetime impression, bon à tirer state.

IFF vol. III, p. 124, no. 3

See also the description of this print offered by the Cleveland Museum of Art:

Condition: by implication of the “bon à tirer” annotation, this impression is designed to be of the highest quality and faultless. Notwithstanding the intended showcase quality of the impression, the sheet shows significant signs of handling appropriate to its role as the reference proof for printing: inky finger marks on the right margin, slight rubbing and fold marks (now flattened). The sheet has been laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this unique (“one of a kind”) impression designed to be a printer’s standard of quality as hand inscribed by the Editor-in-Chief of the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”, for the total cost of AU$302 (currently US$233.98/EUR196.50/GBP168.75 at the time of posting this print) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 sensitive portrait of the famous printmaker and painter, Léon Cogniet, in his final years—note how Bonnat has cleverly created the aged appearance of Cogniet by the simple but insightfully applied device of accentuating the crease lines from the nose to the ends of the mouth—the nasolabial lines—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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