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Claude Mellan

(d. 1598)

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(bapt. Abbeville, 23 May 1598; d Paris, 9 Sept. 1688).

French engraver. One of the most renowned engravers of his period, he was best known for his portraits, but he also made prints after Poussin and Vouet, for example. He was a technical virtuoso and instead of using cross-hatching he obtained his effects of light and shade by varying the thickness of his lines. The most famous example of his prowess is his Sudarium of St Veronica (1642), a portrait of Christ made up of a single continuous spiral line that goes round from the centre to the edge like the groove on a gramophone record. Mellan also painted, but few of his pictures survive.

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