Emperor Henry IV at the Feet of Pope Gregory VII




Nicholas LeSueur (French 1691 – 1764), Emperor Henry IV at the Feet of Pope Gregory VII,  chiaroscuro woodcut, circa 1730, from two blocks (olive brown, tan), and etching,  from a drawing by Frederick Zucarri,  in the Cabinet Crozat [with the names of the artist, title, cabinet in the block]

On heavy laid paper with a Shield watermark, with very wide margins, on a mottled laid paper, in very good condition, 17 1/2 x 8 1/2, the sheet 20 3/4 by 14 inches.

A fine, fresh impression of this striking composition.

From the Cabinet Crozat series – a folio of works, by LeSueur and others, of chiaroscuro woodcuts after famous drawings and paintings in France (sponsored by Pierre Crozat). Shortly after his initial involvement in this project (about 1725), he became the chief wood engraver for the series, and was one of the champions of the chiaroscuro woodcut technique during the 18th Century.

The outline of the drawing was initially done in etching, and then the color tones were successively added using the woodcut blocks. This accounts for the strong detailing ordinarily not possible using a pure chiaroscuro woodcut technique.

This impression was exhibited in the show Beyond Black and White: Chiaroscuro Prints from Indiana Collections, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indiana University Art Museum, 1989-90, catalogue number 39.