Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 7 February 2022

Alphonse Legros’ etching, “La Mort et le Bûcheron, no. 2”, 1876

Alphonse Legros (1837–1911)

La Mort et le Bûcheron, no. 2” (aka “Death and the Woodcutter”), 1876, printed by Alfred Salmon (aka Adolphe Ardail; Salmon & Ardail; Alfred Fortuné Salmon) (fl.1863–1894) and published by Charpentier et Cie (fl.1813–) in Paris in “L'Art”, no. 93, 1876. Note the Legros executed four separate etched plates of the same subject with variations (Bliss 141; 142; 181; 213) and this is the second plate.

Etching with drypoint and pale plate tone on laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 40 x 29.3 cm; (plate) 33.1 x 24.3 cm; (image borderline) 31.4 x 23.2 cm.

Inscribed in plate with the artist’s initials within the image borderline: (lower right corner) “AL”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “A. Legros, pinx. & sculp./ L’Art.”; (centre) “LA MORT ET LE BÛCHERON.”; (right) “Imp. A. Salmon, Paris.”

State xi (of xi) with publication details for “L’Art”.

Malassis & Thibaudeau 142 xi (Auguste Poulet-Malassis & Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau 1877, “Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre gravé et lithographié de Alphonse Legros”, Paris, chez J. Baur, libraire-éditeur, pp. 92–3, cat. no. 142 xi); Bliss 142 xi (Frank E Bliss 1923, “A Catalogue of the Etchings, Drypoints and Lithographs by Professor Alphonse Legros [1837–1911], London, [Bliss], p. 34, cat. no. 142 xi).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Woodcutter in forest with bundle of wood, horrified and cowering to see Death approaching with scythe at left; second plate; published in the journal 'L'Art', no.93, 8 October 1876. c.1876” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed (near faultless) impression in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, stains or foxing.

I am selling this remarkable etching capturing in a moment of radiant light a woodsman startled by the ominous apparition of the grim figure of Death—regarding the suggestion of early morning forest mist, I understand that Legros abraded the printing plate by first rubbing it against stone (state iii) and later sandpaper (state iv) to create the pale surface tone of this impression—for AU$288 (currently US$204.86/EUR179.42/GBP151.57 at the time of 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 visually engaging and technically fascinating etching by one of the major 19th century printmakers, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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