| Detail, Theodorus Rombouts, 1645|
With regard to the requirement that an image should sustain a viewer's interest, this engraving exhibits a very interesting pictorial device employed to invite negotiations of meaning at many different levels: Rombouts' hand gesture that minimally breaks through the right borderline of the print. By virtue of the break in the borderline being so slight, the finger that probes through the borderline functions like a pictorial magnet in attracting the eye to the figure's hand. And, more important, to read the body language that the hand expresses: a gesture to look.
|Detail, Theodorus Rombouts, 1645|
Aesthetically, close scrutiny of Pontius' precise alignment of contour shading marks is as rewarding as exploring the mystery of nooks and crannies in a landscape. For example, the treatment of Rombouts' cloak (see detail below) is fascinating to contemplate especially how Pontius adjusts the curving lines to describe advancing and receding folds.
|Details, Theodorus Rombouts, 1645|
(left) whole sheet view of Theodorus Rombouts (Théodore Rombouts), 1645
(right) whole sheet view of Caspar Gevaert (Casperius Gevartius), 1630–40