Studies of Hands

Alphonse Legros French and British

Not on view

Legros, who is best remembered today for his etchings and drawings, is among the few nineteenth-century artists to have worked in metalpoint, a process in which a metal stylus is used to draw on prepared, slightly roughened paper, thereby rubbing off tiny shards of metal and leaving behind delicate silvery lines. Jan van Eyck and Leonardo da Vinci made some of the most beautiful drawings of the Renaissance using this technique, and Legros pays tribute to the Old Masters as much in his choice of metalpoint as in the clarity and simplicity of his style. The hands seen in this sheet are probably his own, studied in a mirror. The drawing is a part of a group of thirty-two given by the artist to the Museum in 1892, in gratitude for which he was made an Honorary Fellow.

Studies of Hands, Alphonse Legros (French, Dijon 1837–1911 Watford, Hertfordshire), Metalpoint on prepared paper

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