Adolphe Lalauze
20 Etchings for The adventures of Gil Blas de Santillana, by Alain Rene Le Sage

PROVENANCE: Professor Raymond E. Pahl, FBA (1935-2011).

Possibly proof etchings, signed in the plate Ad Lalauze

210 x 190 mm (20)

Gil Blas (L’Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane) is a picaresque novel by Alain-Ren Lesage published between 1715 and 1735. It is considered to be the last masterpiece of the picaresque genre.

Gil Blas is born in misery to a stable hand and a chambermaid of Santillana in Cantabria, and is educated by his uncle. He leaves Oviedo at the age of seventeen to attend the University of Salamanca. His bright future is suddenly interrupted when he is forced to help robbers along the route and is faced with jail. He becomes a valet and, over the course of several years, is able to observe many different classes of society, both lay and clerical. Because of his occupation, he meets many disreputable people and is able to adapt to many situations, thanks to his adaptability and quick wit.

He finally finds himself at the court as a favourite of the king and secretary to the prime minister. Working his way up through hard work and intelligence, Gil is able to retire to a castle to enjoy a fortune and a hard-earned honest life.