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Alphonse Legros

1837 - 1911

Portrait of Lord Tennyson by Alphonse Legros

Portrait of Lord Tennyson   c.1880

  Original lithograph.
Signed in pencil.
Bliss/Malassis & Thibaudeau 407
S 448 x 312 mm; I 330 x 228 mm (to edge of china paper)
Very rare original lithograph by Alphonse Legros. Malassis & Thibaudeau were unable to locate an impression of this work for their comprehensive exhibition of Alphonse Legros’s work in 1904. Very fine signed proof impression of this searching portrait.

Although Alphonse Legros is known to have produced over 700 etchings and drypoints, he produced fewer than 50 lithographs in his entire life, all of which are now rare. Alphonse Legros’s first lithographs date from 1862, when Cadart (in an attempt to initiate the renaissance of original lithography in France) invited Edouard Manet, Fantin-Latour, Ribot, and Alphonse Legros to make a group of exhibition lithographs for him. Whilst in England, Legros made considerable efforts as a teacher to revive original lithography in this country; however, he himself returned to the process only rarely after 1865.

Alphonse Legros made three portraits of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, of which this was the first. He repeated this drawing twice in etching and soft ground etching, with the image printing in reverse (M.&T. 433 and 434).

The famous poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was one of the great figures of the Victorian era. Few poets have produced acknowledged masterpieces in so manuy different poetic styles as Tennyson and his work includes some of the finest idyllic poetry in the language. A deeply solemn character who suffered from prolonged periods of profound spiritual depression, Tennyson created an extensive body of writings which were much admired by his literary contemporaries, the critics and the general public. Highly regarded by the English Royal Family, he was appointed Poet Laureate of Great Britain in 1850, succeeding William Wordsworth in this honour. He was made a peer of the realm in 1884.

On off white china paper, applied to original warm white wove backing sheet, with full margins. Very fine condition.