Dutch and Flemish metalpoint drawings from the 15th to the 17th centuries
By An Van Camp, Curator of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Prints, Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum
This talk will present a selection of drawings included in the upcoming exhibition ‘Drawing in Silver and Gold: From Leonardo to Jasper Johns’, to be shown at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (May–July 2015) and the British Museum, London (September–December 2015). The international loan exhibition focuses on drawings made in metalpoint, a not very well known drawing technique that involves the draughtsman using a metal stylus (mostly silverpoint) to draw on a sheet prepared with an abrasive ground. This technique results in very delicate and often very detailed drawings, and has produced some of the world’s most admired Old Master drawings.
Despite being a very meticulous technique, metalpoint was widely used in the 15th century by Flemish Renaissance artists such as Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Gerard David. It continued to be used in the 16th century, mainly by travelling artists and portrait printmakers such as Hans Bol, Hendrick Goltzius and Jacques de Gheyn II. Rembrandt still drew in metalpoint in the 1630s but the technique stopped being used in the Netherlands at the end of the 17th century. This talk will provide an overview of metalpoint and its use in the Netherlands from the 15th to the 17th centuries.
This talk is in partnership with Apollo.
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