Le Port de Mer
The Seaport with a Beacon
Mannocci 37 II (R-D 11, D
11, B 13, K 138, R 22)
etching, ca. 1640, a superb impression of
the very rare second state of five*, printed with refined detail,
on medium-weight laid paper, with
the full Roman
watermark of a "kneeling saint in a shield, holding a cross"
Appendix 2 and 3, identifying a Roman paper dating to the late-16th to the mid-17th centuries),
with small margins, very slight soiling on the reverse, two small
strips of mounting tape along the upper edge, in quite excellent
and surprisingly fresh condition
Provenance: a private American collection
Pl. 140 x 200 mm., S. 145 x 205 mm. Mannocci gives the plate dimensions as 139 (143) x 198 (201) mm., and the impression of state two in the Bibliothèque Nationale (which we have examined) is identical: 140 x 200 mm..
One of Claude Lorrain's
best-known etchings, conceived at the height of his career, this very rare
lifetime impression* of Le Port de
Mer au Fanal
demonstrates his refined interest in atmospheric effects, here a sunset
highlighting a bustling harbour scene, and offsetting the beacon, just
off-centre, haloed by a radiance in the background.
The first printings (or editions) of
this remarkable etching are not known, though possibly the reason for the early (second-state?) addition of a marginal "7".**
* Manocci distinguishes the
second state from the third by stating that "the plate-corners are
still sharp"; the subsequent alteration (of rounding off the
plate corners) would seemingly have been undertaken in view of a first
edition, as is commonplace, to avoid damaging the support sheet.
* The second state only differs from the first
by the addition of a small numeral "7" in the left edge of the plate. (Mannocci
considers the addition of the marginal numbering to correspond to an
editorial project, as yet
unattested.) He furthermore has not been able to locate any first
state impressions (i.e., before the added numeral); the so-called
first-state impression in the Bibliothèque Nationale (as he notes) has had the numeral carefully scraped off. Mannocci identifies only 5 impressions of the second state in public collections: Cincinnati, Oxford, Paris (Bibliothèque Nationale, which we have
examined, and Louvre), and Rome.