Venetian Woman


Wallerant Vaillant (1623-1677), [Venetian Woman], mezzotint, circa 1670. References: Wurzbach 68, Hollstein p. 205, in good condition, with thread margins, on old laid paper, 12 1/8 x 9 1/8 inches.

A fine rich impression.

This rare print has been the subject of much discussion among art historians. Wurzbach attributes it to Vaillant; Hollstein to another (unknown) artist. It was clearly done in the 17th Century, early in the development of the mezzotint technique.

Vaillant, a French portrait painter and etcher trained in Flanders was a collaborator of Prince Rupert, one of the earliest artists working in mezzotint, and he developed the technique further after leaving the employ of Rupert, to achieve prints more beautiful and technically satisfying than those of Rupert. The subtle technique and professionalism of Venetian Woman has led historians to attribute the print to Valliant.