About this artwork
Niello work, an ancestor of engraving, originated in the workshops of goldsmiths and armorers. Designs were often engraved on silver and then dusted with niello, a powdered metallic alloy. When heated, the enamel-like amalgam fused into the engraved lines. The surface of the metal was then polished, highlighting the black design. An artist could proof his work by rubbing ink into the lines and printing the design on dampened paper. This work was once attributed to the goldsmith Maso Finiguerra (1426-1464), the most famous niellist of his day. It is now thought to be an 18th century production based on earlier Florentine models, but it nonetheless conveys the jewel-like quality of Finiguerra’ s art.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Adoration of the Magi
- Italy (Artist's nationality)
- Engraving on paper
- Sheet: 11.5 × 10.4 cm (4 9/16 × 4 1/8 in.)
- Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.