Marcus Gheeraerts, 'De Lieure & de la Tortuë' (The Hare and the Tortoise)

Marcus Gheeraerts, 'De Lieure & de la Tortuë' (The Hare and the Tortoise)

Marcus Gheeraerts
'De Lieure & de la Tortuë' (The Hare and the Tortoise)
1578
Etching and engraving
From 'Esbatement moral des animaux' by Peeter Heyns
Published by Philippe Galle in Antwerp
National Art Library Pressmark: 86.D.117

This book, published by Phillip Galle, re-uses the etched plates made for another book. 'De warachtige fabulen der dieren', published by De Dene in 1567, was one of the earliest to show the fine effects possible with etched rather than engraved illustration.

In etching, an image is drawn on a metal plate through an acid-resistant wax coating using a special needle. The plate is heated to harden the remaining wax and then dipped into acid, which bites into the drawn lines making grooves.

Etcher and engraver Marcus Gheeraerts (about 1516 - about 1604) was from Bruges. His fable illustrations became famous and were often copied or imitated. His style also influenced later artists like Wenceslaus Hollar and Francis Barlow.