Two Allegorical Figures of Painting and Sculpture and a Sketch of St Jerome

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Two Allegorical Figures of Painting and Sculpture and a Sketch of St Jerome about 1610
This energetic drawing shows female personifications of Painting (right) and Sculpture (left). It is likely that these figures were Palma’s initial ideas for an etching of the same subject, which he contributed to a drawing manual that was published in Venice in 1611. In this drawing Palma used vigorous parallel strokes of the pen (hatchings) to indicate areas of shadow. These resemble the engraved lines of prints, and could possibly be linked to Palma’s activities as a printmaker around this time. The presence of an unrelated inscription and the figure of a penitent St Jerome are evidence of the experimental nature of the sheet. Furthermore, paper was a precious commodity in the sixteenth century, and artists frequently used both sides of a piece of paper while exploring new ideas.

Glossary Open


A form of printmaking in which a metal plate is covered with a substance called a 'ground', usually wax, into which an image is drawn with a needle. Acid is applied, eroding the areas of the plate exposed but not the areas covered by wax. The action of the acid creates lines in the metal plate that hold the ink from which a print is made when the plate is pressed against paper under pressure.


A technique used for shading or creating texture in drawing, print-making and engraving. It consists of fine parallel lines that are drawn close together. Where groups of lines intersect, the term ‘cross-hatching’ is used.


Text written on a book, document or artwork. Examples include the added information such as edition number and date on a print, or a dedication written in a book.


The depiction of an animal or an inanimate object with human characteristics.


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Etching, Hatching, Inscription, Personification, Print


  • Acc. No. D 1173
  • Medium Pen and brown ink on paper
  • Size 36.10 x 24.30 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910