Masters of the Bitten Line: Etching in the Age of Rembrandt

Masters of the Bitten Line: Etching in the Age of Rembrandt

Event Details

Auckland Art Gallery celebrates the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn's birth (1606-1669) with the exhibition Masters of the Bitten Line: Etching in the Age of RembrandtBest known today as a painter, he was also a remarkable printmaker, executing nearly 300 etchings throughout his career. The exhibition places Rembrandt's work alongside other masters of the 17th century including, Annibale Carracci, Anthony van Dyck and Salvator Rosa.

Etching, whereby the lines of the printing plate are 'bitten' by acid, became increasingly popular with artists during the 17th century. As they used the medium, they discovered its potential and began to exploit this in their work. Whereas engraving was exacting in the use of line, artists discovered etching's ability to play with line, to revel in its sketchy properties or to use it lyrically to describe form. They experimented with the variety of effects of inking and wiping the plate and discovered the tonal ranges possible through 'multiple bitings'.

Masters of the bitten line brings together masterpieces printed on paper from the 17th century. The best etchings combine the spontaneity of drawing with the pictorial effects of painting, while also harnessing the intrinsic possibilities of the technique. As the prints in this exhibition by Rembrandt and his contemporaries demonstrate, they did this through mastery of the bitten line.

Find out more about etching and other printmaking techniques

Date
Location
New Gallery
Cost
Free entry

Related Artworks

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A Young Tavern Keeper Caressed by an Elderly Peasant
A Young Tavern Keeper Caressed by an Elderly Peasant

Cornelis Bega

Production date
mid 17th century
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
195 x 166 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of James Tannock Mackelvie, 1885
Accession no
M1885/3/1
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La Mort à Cheval (Death on Horseback)
La Mort à Cheval (Death on Horseback)

Stefano Della Bella

Production date
1648
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
170 x 143 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/1/2
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Saint Jerome in the cave
Saint Jerome in the cave

Ferdinand Bol

Production date
1644
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
286 x 246 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/25
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L'aveugle et son chien (The Blind Man and His Dog)
L'aveugle et son chien (The Blind Man and His Dog)

Jacques Callot

Production date
circa 1622
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
136 x 87 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/2/177
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The Infant Christ Embracing the Cross
The Infant Christ Embracing the Cross

Pietro Testa

Production date
circa 1630-circa 1640
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
370 x 308 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/123
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The Rescue of the Infant Oedipus
The Rescue of the Infant Oedipus

Salvator Rosa

Production date
1663
Medium
etching with drypoint
Size (h x w)
724 x 473 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1978
Accession no
1978/32
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The Strolling Musicians
The Strolling Musicians

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
circa 1635
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
140 x 116 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/114
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Hunchbacked Fiddler
Hunchbacked Fiddler

Adriaen van Ostade

Production date
1654
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
154 x 107 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr Peter Dane, 1984
Accession no
1984/32/1
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The Apparition (L'Apparition)
The Apparition (L'Apparition)

Claude Lorrain

Production date
circa 1630
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
105 x 170 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/52
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Uylenspiegel (The "Owl-glass" or The Beggars)
Uylenspiegel (The "Owl-glass" or The Beggars)

Lucas van Leyden

Production date
1520
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
175 x 142 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/87
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La Tentation de St Antoine (The Temptation of Saint Anthony)
La Tentation de St Antoine (The Temptation of Saint Anthony)

Jacques Callot

Production date
1634
Medium
etching with engraving
Size (h x w)
360 x 467 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1957
Accession no
1957/31/3
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The Landscape with the Cannon
The Landscape with the Cannon

Albrecht Dürer

Production date
1518
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
220 x 320 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/47
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The frontispiece to the Figurine Series [reversed]
The frontispiece to the Figurine Series [reversed]

Johann von Sandrart Salvator Rosa

Production date
Pre 1698
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
171 x 120 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1957
Accession no
1957/32/1
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Kunz von der Rosen
Kunz von der Rosen

Daniel Hopfer

Production date
early 16th century
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
294 x 217 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/70
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Herd Returning in Stormy Weather
Herd Returning in Stormy Weather

Claude Lorrain

Production date
circa 1650-circa 1651
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
163 x 220 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/55
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Mercury and Argus
Mercury and Argus

Claude Lorrain

Production date
1662
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
150 x 214 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1955
Accession no
1955/18/2
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Peasant Settling his Debt
Peasant Settling his Debt

Adriaen van Ostade

Production date
circa 1650-circa 1653
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
102 x 85 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/105
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Pieter Brueghel
Pieter Brueghel

Anthony van Dyck

Production date
1630-1640
Medium
etching and engraving
Size (h x w)
368 x 269 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1956
Accession no
1956/11
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Battlefield
Battlefield

Karel Dujardin

Production date
1652
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
166 x 193 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/61
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Justus Sustermans
Justus Sustermans

Anthony van Dyck

Production date
early 1630s
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
361 x 263 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/52
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Not on display

Two Peasants with Their Dog
Two Peasants with Their Dog

Jacob van Ruisdael

Production date
circa 1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
185 x 251 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1955
Accession no
1955/42/14
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Not on display

Cottage at the Top of a Hill
Cottage at the Top of a Hill

Jacob van Ruisdael

Production date
circa 1660
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
190 x 251 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1955
Accession no
1955/42/15
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Not on display

Baker Sounding His Horn
Baker Sounding His Horn

Adriaen van Ostade

Production date
circa 1668
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
102 x 88 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/104
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Woman with a Pear
Woman with a Pear

Ferdinand Bol

Production date
1651
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
146 x 120 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/26
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Woman with Nautilus Goblet
Woman with Nautilus Goblet

Jan Weissenbruch Gerrit Dou

Production date
1837-1880
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
88 x 70 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/29
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Clement de Jonghe, Printseller [?]
Clement de Jonghe, Printseller [?]

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
1651
Medium
etching, drypoint and burin
Size (h x w)
207 x 162 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/112
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Not on display

Rembrandt in a Heavy Fur Cap
Rembrandt in a Heavy Fur Cap

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
1631
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
63 x 57 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1961
Accession no
1961/4/1
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Not on display

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple
Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
1635
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
137 x 169 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1976
Accession no
1976/35
View Artwork

Not on display

Woman bathing her feet at a brook
Woman bathing her feet at a brook

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
1658
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
162 x 80 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/116
View Artwork

Not on display

Christ and the Woman of Samaria
Christ and the Woman of Samaria

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
1634
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
123 x 107 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1961
Accession no
1961/4/2
View Artwork

Not on display

Landscape with an Obelisk
Landscape with an Obelisk

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
circa 1650
Medium
etching with drypoint
Size (h x w)
84 x 163 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1961
Accession no
1961/4/3
View Artwork

Not on display

Three Heads of Women, one asleep
Three Heads of Women, one asleep

Rembrandt van Rijn

Production date
1637
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
127 x 90 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1961
Accession no
1961/4/4
View Artwork

Not on display

La Mort emporte une femme (Death carrying a woman)
La Mort emporte une femme (Death carrying a woman)

Stefano Della Bella

Production date
1648
Medium
etching, engraving oval plate
Size (h x w)
176 x 143 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/1/3
View Artwork

Not on display

L'arbre habite (The Tree House)
L'arbre habite (The Tree House)

Stefano Della Bella

Production date
circa 1652
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
250 x 368 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/1/80
View Artwork

Not on display

Statue colossale de l'Apennin (Colossal statue of the Apennine)
Statue colossale de l'Apennin (Colossal statue of the Apennine)

Stefano Della Bella

Production date
circa 1652
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
245 x 383 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/1/85
View Artwork

Not on display

Portrait of Simon Vouet
Portrait of Simon Vouet

Ottavio Leoni

Production date
1625
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
141 x 111 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1962
Accession no
1962/10/6
View Artwork

Not on display

Man with a Moustache, Wearing a Fur Headress
Man with a Moustache, Wearing a Fur Headress

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
circa 1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
185 x 147 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/20/2
View Artwork

Not on display

Bearded Old Man with His Head Leaning Forward
Bearded Old Man with His Head Leaning Forward

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
circa 1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
180 x 150 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/20/6
View Artwork

Not on display

Jason and the dragon
Jason and the dragon

Salvator Rosa

Production date
circa 1663-circa 1664
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
340 x 217 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1980
Accession no
1980/42/3
View Artwork

Not on display

The Genius of Salvator Rosa
The Genius of Salvator Rosa

Salvator Rosa

Production date
circa 1662
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
461 x 276 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/100
View Artwork

Not on display

The infant Christ and young John the Baptist, with Mary and Joseph in the background
The infant Christ and young John the Baptist, with Mary and Joseph in the backgr...

Guido Reni

Production date
1600-1640
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
118 x 171 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/96
View Artwork

Not on display

Young Man with his Head Lowered, Wearing a Turban
Young Man with his Head Lowered, Wearing a Turban

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
1645-1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
111 x 82 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/20/11
View Artwork

Not on display

Old Man Wearing a Fur Cap
Old Man Wearing a Fur Cap

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
1645-1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
104 x 81 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/20/9
View Artwork

Not on display

Young Man with his Head Leaning Against his Shoulder Wearing a Plumed Headdress
Young Man with his Head Leaning Against his Shoulder Wearing a Plumed Headdress

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
1645-1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
111 x 80 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/20/10
View Artwork

Not on display

Young Woman Wearing a Plumed Turban
Young Woman Wearing a Plumed Turban

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
1645-1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
111 x 82 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/20/17
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Not on display

Young Man Wearing a Fur Headdress with a Headband
Young Man Wearing a Fur Headdress with a Headband

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
1645-1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
111 x 82 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/20/8
View Artwork

Not on display

The Philosopher Diogenes searching for an honest man
The Philosopher Diogenes searching for an honest man

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
1645-1650
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
220 x 312 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/46
View Artwork

Not on display

Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Rest on the Flight into Egypt

Simone Cantarini

Production date
1630-1648
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
175 x 263 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/29
View Artwork

Not on display

The Genius of Castiglione
The Genius of Castiglione

Giovanni Castiglione

Production date
1645-1647
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
373 x 248 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/47
View Artwork

Not on display

Pietà (The 'Caprarola' Lamentation)
Pietà (The 'Caprarola' Lamentation)

Annibale Carracci

Production date
1597
Medium
etching with engraving and drypoint
Size (h x w)
124 x 163 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/30
View Artwork

Not on display

Susanna and the Elders
Susanna and the Elders

Annibale Carracci

Production date
circa 1590
Medium
etching and engraving
Size (h x w)
348 x 310 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/50/31
View Artwork

Not on display

Tantalus
Tantalus

Hendrik Goltzius Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem

Production date
1588
Medium
engraving
Size (h x w)
310 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1978
Accession no
1978/16/1
View Artwork

Not on display

The Cupping-glass
The Cupping-glass

Cornelis Dusart

Production date
1695
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
226 x 171 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1991
Accession no
1991/35/1
View Artwork

Not on display

Gathering at Fireplace
Gathering at Fireplace

Cornelis Bega

Production date
mid 17th century
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
75 x 60 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of James Tannock Mackelvie, 1885
Accession no
M1885/3/12
View Artwork

Not on display

Landscape with a road along a mountainside
Landscape with a road along a mountainside

Gaspard Dughet

Production date
circa 1645
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
200 x 300 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/57
View Artwork

Not on display

The Prodigal Son among the swine
The Prodigal Son among the swine

Pietro Testa

Production date
circa 1645
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
210 x 309 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/111
View Artwork

Not on display

The fall of the Giants
The fall of the Giants

Salvator Rosa

Production date
1663
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
733 x 478 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/101
View Artwork

Not on display

Mother and Child with Peasants in a Tavern
Mother and Child with Peasants in a Tavern

Cornelis Bega

Production date
mid 17th century
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
152 x 120 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of James Tannock Mackelvie, 1885
Accession no
M1885/3/10
View Artwork

Not on display

La grande chasse (The Great Hunt or The Stag Hunt)
La grande chasse (The Great Hunt or The Stag Hunt)

Jacques Callot

Production date
circa 1619
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
194 x 464 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/2/104
View Artwork

Not on display

La mendiante venant de recevoir la charite (The Beggar asking for charity)
La mendiante venant de recevoir la charite (The Beggar asking for charity)

Jacques Callot

Production date
1622
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
137 x 87 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/2/178
View Artwork

Not on display

Le gueux assis et mangeant (The Seated Beggar eating)
Le gueux assis et mangeant (The Seated Beggar eating)

Jacques Callot

Production date
circa 1622
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
136 x 86 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/2/179
View Artwork

Not on display

La vieille aux chats (The Old Woman with Cats)
La vieille aux chats (The Old Woman with Cats)

Jacques Callot

Production date
circa 1623
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
138 x 87 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/2/180
View Artwork

Not on display

Spring
Spring

Wenceslaus Hollar

Production date
1644
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
183 x 131 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/3/42
View Artwork

Not on display

Summer
Summer

Wenceslaus Hollar

Production date
1644
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
181 x 130 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/3/43
View Artwork

Not on display

Cows
Cows

Nicholaes Berchem

Production date
mid 17th century
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
122 x 175 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1983
Accession no
1983/27/1
View Artwork

Not on display

Landscape with a gnarled tree
Landscape with a gnarled tree

Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi

Production date
1630-1680
Medium
etching
Size (h x w)
234 x 328 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/75