Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns, Exhibition Catalog

About the Exhibition

In the first comprehensive exhibition on the evocative medium of metalpoint—the art of drawing with a metal stylus—some 100 works showcase the surprising range of effects created by master draftsmen for centuries. On view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from May 3 through July 26, 2015, Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns includes works from the Middle Ages to the present, on loan from major museums in Europe and the United States, with nearly half on loan from the British Museum, London.

Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns, Exhibition Catalog

# 26326

NGA Produced Award Winner


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Stacey Sell and Hugo Chapman with contributions by Kimberly Schenck, John Oliver Hand, Giulia Bartrum, An Van Camp, Bruce Weber, Joanna Russell, Judith Rayner, and Jenny Bescoby


From the Middle Ages to the present, master draftsmen have used the technique of metalpoint to create some of the most beautiful and technically accomplished drawings in the history of art. Drawing in Silver and Gold examines the history of this evocative medium, in which a metal stylus is used on a specially prepared surface to create lines of astonishing delicacy.


This beautifully illustrated book examines the practice of metalpoint over six centuries, in the work of artists ranging from Leonardo, Dürer, and Rembrandt to Otto Dix and Jasper Johns. A team of authors—curators, conservators, scientists—address variations in technique across time and between different schools, incorporating new scientific analysis, revealing patterns of use, and providing a rare demonstration of the medium's range and versatility. They reappraise famous metalpoints of the Renaissance and shed new light on infrequently studied periods, such as the seventeenth century and the Victorian silverpoint revival.


A new examination of an exquisite but not thoroughly understood medium, Drawing in Silver and Gold offers fresh interpretations of a practice central to the history of drawing and will serve as the most authoritative reference on metalpoints for years to come.

  • Hardcover
  • 7.75 x 11 inches
  • 328 pages, 212 illustrations
  • Published: 2015


2016 Association of American University Presses (AAUP) Book, Jacket, and Journal Show
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