Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden)
Etching and engraving
plate: 10 1/8 x 7 5/8 in. (25.6 x 19.4 cm) (trimmed within plate line except at bottom, where trimmed to line)
Gift of Mortimer L. Schiff, 1919
Not on view
This sensitive portrayal of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, produced in commemoration of his death in 1519, is one of Lucas's most technically innovative works. It demonstrates how, for the first time in Northern Europe, an artist combined the techniques of etching and engraving. Etching allowed Lucas greater freedom of draftsmanship, but at the time the print was made, its use as a printmaking technique was still rather new. He therefore turned to engraving in the areas that required greater precision. Thus, the artist engraved Maximilian's face with very fine, sharp lines, but the less rigid, wavering, and slightly more animated strokes in the rest of the composition were etched.
Donor: Mortimer L. Schiff
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Print in the North".
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 4, 2010–January 3, 2011.
Suzanne Boorsch, Nadine Orenstein "The Print in the North: The Age of Albrecht Durer and Lucas van Leyden." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 54, no. 4, Spring 1997, p. 40.