Wallerant Vaillant (Dutch, 16231677)
Mezzotint; 9 3/4 x 12 in. (24.8 x 30.5 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956 (56.605.14)
Vaillant learned the mezzotint technique from Prince Rupert of the Rhine, whom he met and assisted during a visit to Frankfurt am Main in 1658. Active in Amsterdam and Paris, Vaillant became the first professional mezzotint-engraver, whose works achieved success throughout Europe. Here, he presents a domestic scene of his own design, showing a woman (presumably a servant) peeling fruit. As this richly toned plate reveals, Vaillant's mezzotint grounds appear more evenly textured than those of his predecessors.