Skip to Content

prints - Religious Images

Showing 1 of 5


La Sainte Face [The Holy Face]

17th century
43.8 cm x 32 cm (17 1/4 in. x 12 5/8 in.)

Claude Mellan (Abbeville, France, 1598 - 1688, Paris) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, French
Medium and Support: Engraving
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.1878

The Sudarium was the cloth with which the Magdalene wiped perspiration from Christ’s face on the road to Calvary. It is believed by the faithful to have miraculously retained the image of Christ’s face. Mellan’s engraving is illusionistic, almost trompe l’oeuil, in its format, but highly intellectual, practically abstract, in its execution. The image is in fact generated by a single line that starts at the tip of Christ’s nose and moves in concentric circles out to the edge of the plate. Every feature, every tone, is produced by shifts in the weight and inflection of this line. The engraving has always been admired as one of the great technical feats. The symbolic implications of Mellan’s line –– the miraculous existence of the image, the singular nature of the Trinity –– are, however, equally significant.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "prints - Religious Images" and [Object]Artist is "Claude Mellan".

View current selection of records as:

Web Privacy Policy | Web Accessibility Policy