The Left Eye of Johann Philipp von Schönborn

The versatile artist Wallerant Vaillant (1623–1677) was a brilliant portraitist. In his 1658 etching of Johann Philipp von Schönborn (1605–1673), the left eye is made utterly convincing through the old trick of using a highlight in the black pupil to animate the sitter. Vaillant evidently had complete command of the etching needle, and the tiny dots, flecks and short lines are all applied manually rather than with a roulette tool.

Become a subscriber to Art in Print to continue reading.

Subscriptions start at just $38 and include instant access to our digital archive.