Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Virgil Solis’ woodcut of a water-dragon eating a nude woman under a bridge


Virgil Solis (1514–62)
“The Serpent Kills Cadmus’s Men”, 1563 (Met. III.I-49), from M Johhann Spreng’s “Metamorphoses of Ovid” [A.15.37], published in 1563.

The title page for “Metamorphoses of Ovid”, of which this print is an illustration, has a long explanatory Latin title, but the translation provided by “The Illustrated Bartsch” (1987) (Vol. 19 [Part 1], p. 471) is interesting and informative:
“The Metamorphoses of Ovid, most carefully set forth in prose outlines of the plots and in narratives and allegories in elegiac verse, and explained with the greatest care and zeal by M. Johann Spreng. With lively illustrations of the individual transformations designed by the extraordinary draftsman, Virgil Solis. 1563.”

Woodcut on laid paper trimmed to the plate edge with thread margins; printed text from the publication verso.
Size: (sheet) 6.2 x 8.2 cm
Bartsch 7.37 (320)

Condition: richly inked and well-printed crisp impression with text verso. There is an abraded area on the left edge. Also on the left side, there is a pale stain (most likely glue residue from past mounting).

I am selling this very small but graphically arresting image of a water-dragon eating a nude woman under a stone bridge for AU$98 (currently US$72.96/EUR68.05/GBP57.89 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable woodcut from 1563, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


I am a tiny bit perplexed as to why the water-dragon shown in this illustration from Spreng’s (1563) “Metamorphoses of Ovid” is eating a woman rather than a man. I thought—and I may be wrong—that Cadmus sent his male companions to fetch water from the Ismenian spring and it was his friends that became the dragon’s brunch. Of course, the figure being devoured may indeed be a man who just happens to have D-cup sized breasts and if this is the case all is well in the world of myth.

Regarding the skill involved in crafting this print, I am dumbfounded that each miniature line is created solely by leaving a fine raised section of the woodblock and cutting away the rest. If this were not a challenge in itself, there are also passages in this print—such as the angled hatched strokes representing shadows under the bridge—that have marks suggesting superficial details laid on top of a directional flow of strokes. I wonder what the social life was like for these early woodcut artists … did they have time for friends?






Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Paul Rajon’s etching, “Ninette”


Paul Adolphe Rajon (aka (1843–88)
(left) “Ninette”, 1886, published in the “Art Journal”, 1886
(right) from a pre-lettered edition before publication

Etchings printed in sanguine ink on laid paper
Size of right impression: (sheet) 33 x 23.3 cm; (image borderline) 24.4 x 17.9 cm
Size of left impression: (sheet) 40.1 x 28.9 cm; (image borderline) 24.4 x 17.9 cm

The left impression is lettered below the image borderline at centre: “NINETTE / ORIGINAL ETCHING BY PAUL RAJON / LONDON J.S. VIRTUE & Co. LIMITED”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impressions in excellent condition. Note that the impressions are subtly different in terms colour bias: the plate tone of the left impression leans to pink and the right impression is more yellow.

The left impression is lightly age-toned towards the edge of the paper. It is cut within the platemark and is lined on a conservator’s support sheet.
The right impression is printed on cream laid paper and the platemark can be seen at the very edge of the sheet. This impression has greater tonal contrast than the left impression.

I am selling this pair of sublimely beautiful etchings for AU$105 (currently US$78.13/EUR72.45/GBP61.25 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing only one of these prints I am selling either print (i.e. only one print but you will tell me which one you want) for AU$75 (currently US$55.81/EUR51.75/GBP43.73 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world
Please let me know if you wish to purchase one or both prints by contacting me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Rajon’s fame in the 19th century was as a reproductive translator of other artists’ paintings into prints, especially the work of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836–1912).

This etched portrait is an original composition by Rajon and it demonstrates his remarkable gift as a draughtsman. The sitter for the portrait is unclear—arguably it is the same model as shown in Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s “Ninette” translated into mezzotint by Samuel A. Cousins. One thing I am certain about is that I do not agree with one writer at the time who dismissed her sublime beauty with the dreadful assessment that “she is pretty enough." Although each judge of feminine charm would have their own opinion about the lovely Ninette, the portrayal of her beauty—and for me she is incredibly beautiful—is not the issue that I find outstanding in this portrait. For me the essence of its attractiveness is the hesitancy of the artist’s stroke in capturing her beauty. Close examination of the line work shows what is termed as a “painterly approach.” What this means is that Rajon is not making unequivocal emphatic single lines to represent his subject but rather many light touches to approximate the position of each observed feature.

In short, this print may one day be THE IMAGE that exemplifies the 19th century vision of beauty and its potential iconic status may rest less with who the sitter is and much more of how she is portrayed with the lightest of touches.







Monday, 5 December 2016

A pair Johann Elias Ridinger’s etchings after Johann Heinrich Roos


Johann Elias Ridinger (aka Johann Elias Riedinger) (1698–1767)
Two tondo scenes featuring ruins after Johann Heinrich Roos (1631-85), c.1730s, from the series, “Mammals after Roos”, published in Augsburg by Johann Friedrich Probst (1721–81).

Etchings on laid paper trimmed unevenly and lined on conservator’s support sheets.
Size of left print: (sheet) 24.4 x 28.4 cm
Size of right print: (sheet) 24 x 24.4 cm
Each print is lettered in two lines with production and publication details below the circular borderline: “Ioh. Heinrich Ros inv et del, Cum Priv..Sac.Caes,.Maj, / Ioh. Elias Riedinger Sculps, Aquae forti Reg: ½. Fol. No. 6. Ioh: Frid: Probst, Haered. Ier. Wolffy excud. Aug..V.´
Other prints from the same series may be seen at the British Museum:
Thienemann 1856 undescribed (Thienemann, Georg, Leben und Wirken des ... Thiermalers und Kupferstechers Johann Elias Ridinger, mit ... Verzeichniss seiner Kupferstiche, Schwarzkunstblätter, Leipzig, Rudolph Weigel, 1856)

Condition: rich and well-printed impressions, trimmed unevenly with some sides still intact with the platemarks. Both prints have been laid down on conservator’s support sheets. Beyond the issue of the uneven edges (somewhat rectified by the prints having been lined on support sheets) the prints are in reasonably good condition, but the print shown on the left has an abrasion at the lower left and the print shown on the right has a few minor marks.  The print shown on the left has a wide left margin with a faded and curiously interesting ink notation by an old hand.

I am selling this pair of marvellous early 18th century etchings for AU$230 (currently US$171.07/EUR159.85/GBP134.48 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing two exceptional prints, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

These prints have been sold










The term “tondo” (the plural is “tondi”) are round compositions designed to be independent of other images. In paintings the term is usually reserved to describe a work larger than 60 cms, but with prints and sculptures this determining factor is not relevant—or not as relevant (see “The Art Bulletin”, Vol. 83, No. 2, June 2001, p. 349).

One attribute that is commonly found in tondi compositions is that they are invariably presented contained within a square shape, as seen in this pair of prints. One reason is for this arrangement is a straightforward and practical: a square is easier to frame than a circle. Another reason is that a circle is more difficult to cut as a printing plate than is a square. Beyond these technical advantages, a square picture hung on a wall is more likely to be in accord (i.e. “fit in”) with rectangular shaped artworks along with the perpendiculars and horizontals of surrounding architecture.

What I find interesting about this “squaring” of the circular format (i.e. framing a tondo within a square) is that this arrangement lends the suggestion of dynamism to the circular image. By this I mean that a tondo composition appears to have more rhythmic life and pictorial vitality when it is framed within a square by virtue of a viewer perceiving contrast—perhaps subliminally—between the calm and stable shape of a square abutting the constantly revolving energy of the tondo’s round shape.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Charles Émile Jacque’s etching of a man reading beside a skull after José de Ribera


Charles Émile Jacque (1813–94)
“Man reading beside a skull” (descriptive title only), 1866, attributed on the plate to José de Ribera (1591–1652)

Etching on fine wove (Japan) paper, trimmed with narrow margins and lined on a conservator’s support sheet
Size: (sheet) 13.4 x 12.3 cm; (plate) 12.1 x 11.3 cm; (image borderline) 11.5 x 10.5 cm
Inscribed within the image borderline at the lower left with the artist's initials, "C. J." (shown in reverse on the book page) and "ARibera 1621”; numbered outside the image borderline at lower left: “1.”

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Man seen half-length, facing the viewer, reading a book laid on a table; his head rests on his left hand; a skull on the right.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3360514&partId=1&searchText=Jos%25u00e9+de+Ribera&people=119978&page=1)

The curator of the British Museum gives the important and interesting advice that J-J Guiffrey (1866) in “LÓeuvre de Ch. Jacque: Catalogue de ses eaux-fortes et pointes seches” does not describe this print “despite having been made in 1845/47 as part of a series of pastiches which he records” (ibid).

The curator of the British Museum advises that this print and the others from the same series referencing José de Ribera were “a group of prints commissioned to Jacque c.1845/47 and signed as Ribera; however they are pastiches rather than copies after the master.” The curator also cites Henri Beraldi (1885) “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, vol. VIII, Paris, p. 180. (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3360532&partId=1&searchText=Moine&people=119978&page=1)

Beraldi 1885-92 56bis (Henri Beraldi, 1885 “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, 12 vols plus supplement, Paris); Guiffrey 1866 not described; IFF 509 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930)

Condition: rich and well-printed impression but with beginning signs of wear to the plate, on fine wove (Japan) paper, trimmed with narrow margins and lined on a conservator’s support sheet. Near pristine condition (i.e. there are no stains, tears, holes, abrasions, folds or foxing).

I am selling this original etching by Jacque after José de Ribera for AU$118 (currently US$87.95/EUR82.60/GBP69.15 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this arresting image, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


There is a skull portrayed in the murky shadows at the lower right corner of this print. Such a subject to be included in an image referencing the time of José de Ribera—the 17th century—was not by chance nor was it considered an incidental feature. The whole meaning of images with skulls in them was grounded on the significance of what skulls symbolise: death (and an array of other associated meanings). By the time that Jacque was making images, the symbolism of skulls was so ingrained that even a slight indication of one was enough for learned folk to understand what the image was all about. In truth, however, the symbolism was not specifically death but rather a codified warning that “things” die. This is the notion of vanitas which is Latin for “emptiness.” Although I may be wrong, the meaningful point of this print of a man reading beside a skull is that his earthly pursuit of knowledge is ultimately worthless. He will die and he will die with the knowledge that he has procured. 

What I like about this image is the arrangement of the skull on the desk. Jacque, in the manner of Ribera, has cast the skull in shadow. Moreover, the skull seems to be reading what the man is reading from the shadows. For me, this treatment of a skull is fascinating as it presents death lurking in the shadows while the temporal world of an everyday pleasure—reading—is clearly seen in the light. Arguably, there is a play of dualities here between the meaning of light and the meaning of shadow.




Charles Émile Jacque’s etching of the prodigal son after José de Ribera


Charles Émile Jacque (1813–94)
“Enfant prodigue” (Prodigal son/child), 1846, attributed on the plate to José de Ribera (1591–1652)
Etching on fine wove (Japan) paper, trimmed with narrow margins and lined on a conservator’s support sheet
Size: (sheet) 13 x 11.8 cm; (plate) 12.2 x 11.1 cm; (image borderline) 11.5 x 10.4 cm
Inscribed within the image borderline at lower centre ”ARibera 1651” and numbered outside the image borderline at lower left: “6.”
State ii (of ii) (Note: this may be a third state as Guiffrey does not mention the inscribed plate number at lower left)

J-J Guiffrey (1866) in “LÓeuvre de Ch. Jacque: Catalogue de ses eaux-fortes et pointes sèches” offers the following description of this print:
(Google Translation) "Seen at half-length, the prodigal son has almost no clothes to cover himself. His long hair hides his face. In one of his hands folded on his breast he holds a bowl. From his right arm hangs a drapery. 1846. This etching was part of the collection of false Ribera of which we have spoken above. First state: Pure etching. Second state: the bottoms and the drapery, which were only unidentified, have become almost black" (p. 77).

The curator of the British Museum advises that this print and the others from the same series referencing José de Ribera were “a group of prints commissioned to Jacque c.1845/47 and signed as Ribera; however they are pastiches rather than copies after the master.” The curator also cites Henri Beraldi (1885) “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, vol. VIII, Paris, p. 180. (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3360532&partId=1&searchText=Moine&people=119978&page=1)
Guiffrey 1866 137 (undescribed state);  IFF 514 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930.
Condition: rich and well-printed impression, on fine wove (Japan) paper, trimmed with narrow margins and lined on a conservator’s support sheet. Near pristine condition (i.e. there are no stains, tears, holes, abrasions, folds or foxing).

I am selling this original etching by Jacque after José de Ribera for AU$118 (currently US$87.95/EUR82.60/GBP69.15 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this arresting image, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Sometimes an image is wonderful just because of a few details. For instance, what I love about this etching is the way that the portray youth clutches his left shoulder in self-pity. Note how Jacque shows the firmness of the youth’s grasp through a slight overlap of flesh of the shoulder as it obscures the tip of his index finger. Note also how the line defining the silhouette edge of the thumb is strengthened where it presses onto the shoulder muscle. I can imagine that these small details are somewhat insignificant in terms of the “big picture” of illustrating the repentant prodigal son but these are the details that catch my attention. 
  
On a broader view, what I also love is the subtle play of light and shadow on the figure that draws attention to the figure’s plight. Regarding this perception of a youth in distress, I am in awe of Jacque’s treatment of the youth’s hair in that it shows perfectly the hair’s oily dirtiness.




Charles Émile Jacque’s etching of a monk portrayed in the manner of José de Ribera


Charles Émile Jacque (1813–94)
“Tête de moine en prière” (Head of a monk in prayer), 1845, in the manner of José de Ribera (15911652)

Etching on fine wove (Japan) paper, trimmed with narrow margins and lined on a conservator’s support sheet
Size: (sheet) 13 x 11.7 cm; (plate) 12.2 x 11.1 cm; (image borderline) 11.6 x 10.4 cm
Inscribed outside the image borderline at lower left: “12.”
State ii (of ii) (Note: this may be a third state as Guiffrey does not mention the inscribed plate number at lower left but the drawn borderline is certainly a feature of state ii)

J-J Guiffrey (1866) in “LÓeuvre de Ch. Jacque: Catalogue de ses eaux-fortes et pointes sèches” offers the following description of this print:
(Google Translation) “A monk, turned to the left, prays while raising his clasped hands. His vast capuchin leaves only his nose and beard in the Light. 1845. First state; Remark test; the subject is not framed. Second state: A black line draws around the engraving & some horizontal lines added in a clear part above the head. Four large chisel strokes, on the right, behind the head. To the left, chisel shots in the background" (p. 50).
Guiffrey 1866 54.II

The curator of the British Museum advises that this print and the others from the same series referencing José de Ribera were “a group of prints commissioned to Jacque c.1845/47 and signed as Ribera; however they are pastiches rather than copies after the master.” The curator also cites Henri Beraldi (1885) “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, vol. VIII, Paris, p. 180. (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3360532&partId=1&searchText=Moine&people=119978&page=1)

Condition: rich and well-printed impression, on fine wove (Japan) paper, trimmed with narrow margins and lined on a conservator’s support sheet. Near pristine condition (i.e. there are no stains, tears, holes, abrasions, folds or foxing).

I am selling this etching with its strong stylistic referencing of José de Ribera for AU$118 (currently US$87.95/EUR82.60/GBP69.15 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this image by Jacque as he explored the Caravaggisti style of Ribera with its dramatic lighting (chiaroscuro) and sombre mood, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This print is far from the scenes of everyday rural life in France that made Jacque famous as a leading luminary of the Barbizon School of artists. Although the reference to José de Ribera was inscribed on many of the associated plates from the series, and I have no trouble seeing the hallmarks of the great painter in Jacque’s use of dramatic lighting (chiaroscuro) and the resonating mood of religious piety of Ribera, this image is more about Jacque’s aesthetic sensitivities than Ribera’s master touch. Why I say this is all to do with the Jacque’s treatment of tone. Although I may be severely reprimanded for suggesting that the background behind the monk could serve just as well as a background for one of Jacque’s chicken pens, I hope my point is not lost. Jacque draws freely and approximates a visual effect; he doesn’t render in a mimetic way. After all, what history now values about Jacque is his free drawing and visual honesty in showing everyday life.  




Friday, 2 December 2016

Moyses van Uyttenbroeck’s etching of the ancient Roman tower of Torre delle Milizie and two obelisks


Moyses van Uyttenbroeck (aka Moyses van Wtenbrouck) (1590/1600–c.1647)
“Landscape with a Tower and Two Obelisks” (La tour et les deux obélisques), c.1610–47, from the series “Six Landscapes” (Bartsch) and “Arcadian Landscapes” (BM), published by his son, Matheus van Uyttenbroeck (fl.1647–c.1660)

Etching and engraving on fine laid paper trimmed on, or within, the platemark and lined on a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 12.7 x 19 cm
Inscribed within the image at lower centre: "Mo. V. VYtenbrouck f. Ma. V. VYtenbrouck ex." (Note: the lettering is almost illegible and so I am relying on the British Museum for the line of text).
State ii (of ii?)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Landscape with the Torre delle Milizie and two obelisks; three shepherds with cattle and goats in left foreground; a traveller leading a mule carrying another figure along a path at far left; from a series of six plates.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3107274&partId=1&searchText=S.3020.&page=1)
Hollstein 50.II (F W H Hollstein, 1949 “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700”, Amsterdam); Bartsch V.113.53 (Adam Bartsch, 1803 “Le Peintre graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna); Bartsch 6.53 (113) (Otto Naumann, 1980 “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 6, New York, p.107).

Condition: slightly silvery impression, trimmed on, or within, the platemark lined onto a conservator’s support sheet. The upper left corner has a small loss and shows restoration, otherwise in very good condition (i.e. beyond the issue with the upper-left corner there are no stains, tears, holes, abrasions, folds or foxing).

I am selling this exceptionally rare etching for AU$218 (currently US$161.74/EUR151.49/GBP128.05 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this fine etching from a contemporary artist at the time of Rembrandt, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


This print is a mystery to me. I found it tucked away at the bottom of a storage box when I was searching for a missing print by Aegidius Sadeler. I never found the missing Sadeler, but the quality of this marvellous small print shone brightly and I decided to see what I could find out about it.

Sadly, the inscribed artist’s name was virtually illegible. Consequently, my attention was focused solely on artistic style and choice of subject.

Mindful that if someone were to tell me that they had determined the name of an artist based solely on the attributes of style and subject exhibited in a print, I would definitely want to hear how they resolved and verified their attribution. As a consequence of how I like hearing about such matters, this discussion is intended to satisfy like-minded folk.

(Please stop reading if you are someone who dislikes generalities as the following account is full of them … be warned!)

My first consideration is the fine quality of the rendering (i.e. the size of the marks). I decided that the etching was unlikely to be Italian, because Italians tend to use emphatic lines with much larger gaps between them. It could be German, such as by the wondrous Adam Elsheimer, because the line work is very controlled, but this is unlikely because the strokes are delicate rather than forceful. Indeed, the choice of artist seemed to narrow and point to either a Dutch or French artist. I discounted the French because the shape of the plate was not especially “French”—this print is a stretched oblong and, to my mind, the French lean more towards squarish rectangles. The oblong shape made me consider the possibility of the Dutch artist, Jan van de Velde, but the treatment of the trees and clouds did not match my perception of his work. To my eyes, the stylistic treatment of the trees seemed more like Cles Cornelisz Moeyaert’s, but the trees lacked the clear tonal contrasts of a Moeyaert.

The second consideration was the clincher for me: an Italian scene rendered as a Dutchman would portray it. An artist whose prints fit this description is Moyses van Uyttenbroeck. Interestingly, I remember reading that the reason Uyttenbroeck chose to portray Italian landscapes—even though he was Dutch—was that he found that the Dutch people at that time had a love for romantic Arcadian scenes. The thing about Uyttenboreck is that he was fixated on idealised images filled with figures dressed in classical gowns with farm animals everywhere. My concern with this image, however, is that the portrayed figures are too small. My memory of Uyttenbroeck is that he liked his figures big so that their activities—usually mythological exploits—could be seen easily. 

After mulling over my tentative attribution, I consulted the catalogue raisonné on Uyttenbroeck (“The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 6) and found the print on page 107. I was right!  





Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Jules Jacquemart’s etching of a rock crystal cup with a scalloped rim


Jules Jacquemart (aka Jules Ferdinand Jacquemart) (1837–80)
Plate 41: “Jatt de Crystal de Roche” [EL] or “Drageoir de Cristal de Roche” [BM], 1864, from the series “Gemmes et Joyaux de la Couronne au Musée du Louvre”, printed by Auguste Delâtre (1822–1907) and published by Henry Barbet de Jouy

Etching with plate/surface tone on laid paper with full margins (as published).
Size: (sheet) 54.5 x 37 cm; (plate) 38.8 x 28 cm; (image borderline) 34 x 26.6 cm
Inscribed within the image (lower centre) “Jules Jacquemart delin. & sculp.”
Lettered above the image (upper left corner) “PL. 41”; (upper centre) “MUSÉE DU LOUVRE.”
Lettered below the image (centre) “Imp. Delȃtre, Paris.”
To see the complete series see Elizabeth Legge gallery: http://www.leggeprints.com/jacquemart/index.htm
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
Gonse 146.II (Gonse, Louis, “Jules Jacquemart”, Gazette des Beaux-Arts)

Condition: large, superb impression in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions, folds or foxing, but there are a couple of small spots) with generous margins.

I am selling this remarkable illustration of a rock crystal cup from the Louvre collection for AU$118 (currently US$87.75/EUR82.62/GBP70.40 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this large etching of the highest order of technical skill, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This is the third illustration by Jacquemart that I have posted of objects in the Louvre collection. This particular image is probably the ultimate display of virtuosity that one can find. It is a standalone visual statement of the remarkable skill of the top illustrators from the 19th century.

Jacquemart is arguably the finest illustrator of still life objects in terms of using only line (i.e. without blocks of tone or colour) to render the subtle differences of surface texture, opacity and sheen separating crystal, stone and metal. Not only was Jacquemart able to convincingly represent each material, but he was also able to suggest the delicacy and the weight of each object.

To fully appreciate what makes an artist like Jacquemart a true master of his craft, one only has to examine the way that he has drawn the rim of this cup and see how he has phrased the strength of the line from strong and dark in the foreground to delicate and faint further back. Moreover, even within each scalloped curve, he has varied the strength of the line.