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The freedom of the line

Callot, Della Bella, Castiglione and etching in the 17th century
Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione: Kopf eines Mannes im Schatten, Kopf eines Mannes mit federgeschmücktem Turban und zwei Pastoralen, Radierung (1. Zustand) © GDKE Landesmuseum Mainz, Foto: A. Garth
Jacques Callot, Die Dame mit der Maske (aus der Folge „La noblesse“), 1620–24, Radierung © GDKE Landesmuseum Mainz, Foto: A. Garth
The graphic technique of etching unfolds its full splendor after a further development in the first half of the 17th century. Still considered an inferior technique to copperplate engraving by famous engravers such as Dürer, etching experienced its Baroque heyday a century later. The etching technique owes its success to the freedom of the line. Unlike the laborious process of copperplate engraving, the artist's hand can easily translate the drawing onto the wax-covered etching plate.
The exhibition focuses on the works of three artists who excelled in the etching technique: Jacques Callot (1592-1635), inventor of his own etching needle and master of the Baroque "Wim¬melbild"; Stefano della Bella (1610-1664), who unceremoniously etched his quick sketches directly instead of drawing them; and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609- 1664), the master of the zig-zag line, whose dense meshes of lines rival the works of his model Rembrandt.
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Museum details

Große Bleiche 49-51
+49 6131 28 570
Opening hours

50.003451, 8.268486