The Veil of St Veronica

Claude Mellan

Claude Mellan - The Veil of St Veronica
In one of his most celebrated works, The Veil of Saint Veronica, Claude Mellan employed his distinctive engraving technique with consummate mastery. Already in 1624 in Rome, he steeped himself in the magnificent method of engraving used by Francesco Villamena and, under his impact, he further developed the technique. Hence, he rendered shadows and plastic volumes without the use of cross−hatching, only through varying thicknesses of the incised line and the parallel placement of the form−modelling strokes. Christ’s face depicted in The Veil of Saint Veronica is created in a single, continuous spiralling line of different thicknesses that starts in the centre of the plate and the middle of Christ’s head – at the tip of the nose; all the depicted features of the image are created using deep−cut incisions and parallel lines. However, Mellan did not practice this brilliant engraving method without a purpose; it is also intended to symbolize the unity of the world personified both by the face of Christ and the abstracting manner in which it is portrayed.
measurements: height 444 mm
width 326 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: engraving
inventory number: R 744
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings