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Wednesday 1 September 2021

Louis Meunier’s etching, “View of Granada, the Alhambra and the Tour-Vermeille”, c1660

Louis Meunier (aka Louis Meusnier) (c1630–c1668)

“View of Granada, the Alhambra and the Tour-Vermeille” (aka “Vue de Grenade, de I'Alhambra et de la Tour-Vermeille”), c1660, from the series of thirteen etchings (including the title plate) “Vues de Grenade” (Views of Granada) (Robert-Dumesnil [1835] 33–45), most likely published in Paris by Jacques van Merle (aka Jacobus van Merlen: Veuve Van Merle) (1616–1682) based on Van Merle's name being inscribed as the publisher of other plates by Meunier showing scenes of Granada (for example

I understand that this print and the others in the series were published in a suite of 55 etchings (involving the various series focused specific localities) in “Diversas vistas de Las casas y Jardines de placer del Rei despana dedicado a La Reina por Louis meunier”. Eric Caudron Auctions offers details about this publication:

Etching on laid paper trimmed with a small margin around the image borderline with partial loss of the word, “Grenade”, below the first line of text and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 13.1 x 25.2 cm; (plate) [loss of lower edge] x 24.9 cm; (image borderline) 12.4 x 24.6 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: “Autre Veüe du Chateau de la Latabre et de la Ville de [Grenade] Vista del Castillo llamado la Lambra de Grenada”.

State iv (of iv) with erasure of the tall tree on the right, erasure of clouds, diagonal toning of the sky and changes to the text.

Robert-Dumesnil 35 (A.-P.-F. Robert-Dumesnil 1835, “Le Peintre-Graveur Français, ou Catalogue Raisonné des Estampes Gravées par les Peintres et les Dessinateurs de l'École Française: Ouvrage Faisant Suite au Peintre-graveur de M. Bartsch”, vol. 5, Paris, Warée, pp. 272–73, cat. 35; see

Robert-Dumesnil (1835) in his catalogue raisonné for Louis Meunier describes the portrayed scene: (Transl.) “The city is seated in the middle of the print. It is dominated, in the background, by the Tour-Vermeille, and, to the left, by the Alhambra palace” (p. 272).

This impression is from the fourth and final state which from my viewpoint is the most interesting state as it exhibits a history of the artist’s revisions to the composition of the scene through remnant glimpses (pentimenti) of what was once shown on the plate. For example, there is still evidence (only partly erased) of a tall tree on the far right that once would have interrupted the downward sweep of the mountain range. Going further, the diagonal lines toning the sky—perhaps even suggesting rain—disguise clouds that once graced the landscape. To my eyes this final version projects a notion of drama to the vast panorama and makes it visually exciting.

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression, with replenished chipped lower corners and laid onto a sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. Beyond the restored lower corners, the sheet in an excellent condition with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this historically significant etching showing a mid-17thcentury view of the city of Granada with the Alhambra palace beyond for total cost of AU$291 (currently US$214.21/EUR180.81/GBP155.51 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 spectacular etching showing revealing evidence of where the artist has changed his mind about the design of the composition—viz. the partially erased tall tree on the right and the addition of rain-like diagonal strokes in the sky obliterating where there were once sunlit clouds—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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