The Beheading of St. John the Baptist
Georges Lallemand (French, about 1575–1636)
Robert-Dumesnil (Bellange) 14; IFF (Lallemand) ; Le Blanc 2 (see note on states)
Sheet: 21 × 29.4 cm (8 1/4 × 11 9/16 in.)(trimmed within the borderline)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The museum has three impressions of this print, all in different states, which do not seem to jibe with the states described in the literature. Meaume, in his catalogue of Lallemand’s prints (“George Lalleman et Jean Le Clerc, peintres et graveurs lorrains.” Mémoires de la Société d’archéologie lorraine, Third Series, vol. 4 (1876), pp. 29-90), describes four states:
(i) before the letters L.A.L.E. at the bottom left. Meaume cites only one known impression, in the collection of Prosper de Baudicour.
(ii) with the letters L.A.L.E. but before the address of Quesnel.
(iii) with the letters L.A.L.E. and the address of Quesnel.
(iv) the address of Quesnel has been erased, as have the letters L.A.L.E., leaving only the letter L.
The museum’s impressions are as follows: (1) Accession number 40.126. There are seven or eight vertical shading strokes on the cheek of the second woman from the left. There are no initials at the bottom left. The impression is trimmed on the borderline at the bottom, so that it is not possible to know whether it had the address of Quesnel. (2) Accession number 40.127 (this impression). The shading strokes on the woman’s cheeks have been abraded out, but the marks left by the abrading are clearly evident. The letter L by itself appears at the bottom left, printing very strongly, with much drypoint burr. The impression is trimmed just outside the borderline at the bottom, so that it is not possible to know whether it had the address of Quesnel. (3) Accession number 40.128. The marks caused by the abrading of the shading strokes on the woman’s cheeks are still evident, but are much weaker than in 40.127, indicating that this is a later impression than 40.127. The letters L.A.L.E. appear at the bottom left, but they print very weakly, and are barely visible. The impression is trimmed about 4 mm outside the borderline at the bottom, and the inscription “Aug. Quesnel excud ruë Betizi au Chesne d’or.” appears just below the borderline at the left.
It thus appears likely that Meaume’s fourth state is in fact the second state, the correct order of his states being i, iv, ii, iii.
Recto, bottom center, the blindstamp of Alexandre-Pierre-François Robert-Dumesnil, Paris (1778-1864)(Lugt 2200); verso of mount, lower center, stamped in brown ink, the mark of the MFA (Lugt 282)
Alexandre-Pierre-François Robert-Dumesnil, Paris (1778-1864)(Lugt 2200); William H. Schab Master Prints and Drawings, Inc., New York; from whom purchased April 11, 1940
Otis Norcross Fund