The Country Dance, Small Plate
Claude Gellee, called Le Lorrain (1600-1682), The Country Dance, Small Plate, etching, c. 1637. Reference: Manocci 19, fourth state B (of seven). In very good condition, trimmed on or outside of the platemark, 5 3/8 x 7 3/4 inches.
Watermark: Pascal Lamb (Manocci watermark no. 19)
A fine lifetime impression, printed with a subtle layering of plate tone.
The first state of The Country Dance, with three goats in the foreground left, is known in only one impression (in the British Museum). The second state, with the goats burnished out, is also unique (collection: Oxford). In the third state, lines in the sky were burnished out, and in the fourth state (A) the plate corners have been rounded; in the fourth state (B) a long broken scratch runs through the highest of the three birds. In the fifth state, after our impression, the plate was entirely re-worked – a village has replaced the forest scene at the left, foliage in the lower left corner was reduced. The sixth and seventh states are posthumous.
Claude made his etchings as original works, with preparatory drawings; the preparatory drawing for The Country Dance is incised for transfer (at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford). The theme of a country dance was used by Claude throughout his life, appearing in the closely related etching La Danse Villageoise (M. 20), and also in several drawings and paintings.