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Joannes fl.1554-1606 and Lucas van Doetecum fl.1554-1572
Large Alpine landscape
Etching and engraving, c.1555-7, after Pieter Bruegel the Elder 1525/30-1569
Bequeathed by Dr W. M. Keynes 2010
The Doetecum brothers' carefully controlled use of line was well suited to the main body of their work, namely maps and architectural prints. The advantages of etching, whereby the artist draws directly onto the surface of a plate through an etching ground, mean that lines can be drawn more freely and more quickly than engraving, where the artist must force a burin into the plate to incise lines into the metal. However, unlike engraving, it is much more difficult to etch a single line that varies in width. The brothers also produced extraordinarily beautiful landscape prints like this one, which reproduces a drawing by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Breugel himself only made one etching, and he collaborated with the Antwerp publisher Hieronymus Cock, at the house Aux Quatre Vents, to reproduce prints after his drawings.