The drawings, belonging to the MNAA collection, by Pontormo, Guercino, Morales, Calvaert, Rembrandt, Vieira Lusitano and the other artists displayed in this exhibition have in common the use of red chalk. Hematite is a mineral extracted from several quarries in Europe (its name is derived from the Greek word for blood) and its beautiful colour fluctuates between light shades, close to orange, and dark brownish red. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, most European artists made use of red chalk, achieving magnificent results with it. It was especially appreciated in the drawing of figures to reproduce the warm effect of skin tone and quickly spread to other topics, such as landscapes and genre scenes.
Alexandra Gomes Markl