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Campania Coastal Scenery

Early 17th century (c. 1605-1609)
Copper alloy plate, oil painting
Dimensions: 15,5 × 21,3 cm
Painting on metal surfaces has existed since ancient times. However, metals were only widely used as painting bases for a short time due to their expense, often reserved for other purposes.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1512) first described painting on copper plates in his "Treatise on Painting" in 1492. By the early 16th century, Italian artists began experimenting with painting on hard, rigid substrates such as stone, marble, and copper. Around the mid-16th century, small-format paintings on metal depicting genre scenes, portraits, and religious and mythological themes within a landscape backdrop emerged and quickly gained popularity.
A landscape by an unknown artist featuring travelling human figures revealed an intriguing story upon further investigation. The painting is based on an etching by the Flemish artist Paul Bril (c.1554-1626), created in 1590. Bril was perhaps the most renowned Roman landscape painter of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
Interestingly, when the painting was turned on its other side, a petite craftsman's mark was discovered in the centre of the copper plate - a small heart with the monogram PS inside and the number 4 above it. Deciphering the craftsman's monogram revealed a copper plate by the Antwerp coppersmith Peeter Stas (ca. 1565-after 1616).
The copper plates he produced were painted by famous Dutch artists such as Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625) and Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638).
Information prepared by Mantvidas Mieliauskas
Photographer Mindaugas Kaminskas
Inv. No VR-399
Published:: 2024-05-03 10:21 Modified: 2024-05-03 10:23
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