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Abraham Entertaining the Angels by Rembrandt van Rijn Abraham Entertaining the Angels by Rembrandt van Rijn  

The Large Cat by Cornelisz Visscher Cornelisz. Visscher, The Large Cat, c. 1657, engraving, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1995.72.1



Rembrandt's prints are mainly etchings, at times combined with other techniques. In the seventeenth century, engraving was a widely used graphic technique that was popular for many types of images.

To make an engraving, the artist carves a design directly into a metal plate using a pointed tool called a burin, which produces deep, precise lines. The plate is hard, and cutting into the surface requires exact control. Cornelisz. Visscher's Large Cat displays the sharply defined, uniform lines typical of engraving. Engraving was often used for books and maps because of its precision and because many copies could be made from a single plate.

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