A collection of early modern and modern prints that demonstrates the range of techniques and print media

13 Items in this Learning Collection
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An Apostle

Accession Number

An Apostle

Wallerant Vaillant

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
mezzotint on paper

7 ½ in x 9 3/16 in (19.05 cm x 23.34 cm);14 3/10 in x 19 3/10 in (36.35 cm x 49.05 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Vaillant was a Dutch portrait painter and one of the first artists to use the technique of mezzotint, an intaglio (incised) printmaking process in which a small tool called a rocker is used to roughen the metal plate, creating rich tonal effects during printing. The technique was first developed in Amsterdam in the second quarter of the seventeenth century by two amateur artists: Ludwig von Siegen (1609–c. 1680) and Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619–1682), who reportedly arrived at the same results independently. Vaillant served as an assistant to Prince Rupert, who likely instructed him in the art of mezzotint. 
Vaillant’s drawing of a man in three-quarter view looking with a piercing gaze directly at the viewer is perhaps a self-portrait. The broken strokes of the chalk are controlled, varied, and soft, creating visual interest particularly in the soft curls gently falling to the sitter’s shoulders. The engraving of an apostle is based on a work by Vaillant, who was probably responsible only for the intimate image of the gure leaning towards a source of light to read his manuscript, perhaps an illuminated book. Both images demonstrate an interest in rendering detailed features with little contrast between light and dark. Although executed in di erent mediums, they are rich in middle values. 

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Collection Area

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1 Related Resource

Literacy, Reading, and Writing
(Part of 10 Learning Collections)

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