Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 22 May 2021

Henri de Grandmaison’s etching, “They Slay, Die and Laugh”, c1871

Henri de Grandmaison (aka Major Henri de Grandmaison; Henri Auguste Babin de Grandmaison) (1834–1906)—"A full colonel in the French army … stationed in North Africa during the 1860s” (see

For those who may be unfamiliar with De Grandmaison’s amazing prints, many of his etchings may be seen in the two volumes of William Forbes-Leith’s (1882), “The Scots Men-at-Arms and Life-Guards in France, from their Formation until their Final Dissolution, A.D. MCCCCXVIII–MDCCCXXX”. offers and online view of these volumes:;   

“They Slay, Die and Laugh” (Ils Tuent, Meurent et Rient), c1871,  printed and published by Alfred Cadart (1828–1875) in Paris as an illustration to the refrain of an old Scandinavian song, “Ils Tuent, Meurent et Rient”  (as inscribed on the plate)—a refrain that Bernard Gineste (2005) insightfully proposes in his blog ( was in circulation at the time as revealed by reference to the refrain on page 33 in Théophile Gautier’s (1811–1872) “Avatar: or, The Double Transformation” (see

Etching with plate tone on wove paper with wide margins and centre-fold (flatted), backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 35.4 x 27.6 cm; (plate [soft]) 23.9 x 16.1 cm; (image borderline) 20.9 x 13.4 cm.

Inscribed on the plate with the artist’s monogram: (lower right corner) (ligature) “HG”.

Lettered on the plate below the image borderline: (left) “H. de Grandmaison, del. et sc.”; (centre) “(( ILS TUENT, MEURENT ET RIENT ))/ (Refrain d’un vieux Chant Scandinave)”; (right) “A.CADART, Edit.Imp.Paris.”

Beraldi (not catalogued) (Henri Beraldi 1885–92, “Les graveurs du 19e siècle; guide de l'amateur d'estampes modernes”, vol. 7, Paris, L Conquet, p. 201; see

Condition: a well-printed impression with even plate tone and generously wide margins. The sheet has a centre-fold (as published?) but this is flattened with the laying of the sheet onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this macabre image of death personified as a skeleton dressed in a Prussian army uniform striding across a battlefield with a distant town on fire—no doubt an image inspired by the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) being fought at the time—for AU$247 (currently US$191.06/EUR156.84/GBP135 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 visually arresting image of death personified, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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