Abaffy AHAS 6angl

Mezzotints by Hermann Hendrick Quiter in Valvasor's graphic collection of the Zagreb archdiocese
The paper presents the mezzotints engraved by Hermann Hendrick Quiter (Ostfriesland, 1628 – Kassel, 1708) that survive in Valvasor's graphic collection in Zagreb. Quiter was a painter, engraver, architect, chemist (he produced paints) and publisher. The data about his biography are scanty and inexact; he is known to have travelled to the Netherlands, England, France and Italy, in Rome he studied painting with Carlo Maratti. From 1680s until his death he was mainly living and working in Germany (Hamburg, Gottorp, Köln, Kassel). He was one of the few early mezzotint-engravers, all of whom initially almost exclusively reproduced painted portraits in the new graphic medium, but his role is also important in the technical development of mezzotint.
Quiter's engraving skill is evident in the refined nuances of half-tones on the clothings of the portrayed sitters. He did not translate the paintings literally into mezzotints, but adapted them to the possibilities of the newly invented tonal engraving: for example, he simplified the backgrounds and left out the details in his portraits after Peter Lely, thus substituting the richness of the painting palette with the concentration on the very sitter. Particularly important are his mezzotints printed on bluish-grey paper which do not show strong contrasts of light and dark surfaces but rather exhibit soft transitions between half-tones.
Until the present, the most accurate list of Quiter's mezzotints has been published by Hollstein: he attributes 60 mezzotints to the artist, while two prints seem disputable to him. It makes 62 mezzotint engravings altogether, but for some of them Hollstein gives no surviving example. Valvasor's graphic collection of the Zagreb archdiocese contains 12 mezzotints by Quiter, or rather 11, because one is an impression taken from the 2nd stage of the plate (cat. nos. 10, 11). For three of these (cat. nos. 3, 5, 12) Hollstein knows no extant example. It is even more important that three other mezzotints in this collection (cat. nos. 8, 9, 10/11) have not been documented in literature at all, and there are also the two prints (cat. nos. 2, 6) that Hollstein doubts, which can thus be safely added to the list of the artist's works. So the number of Quiter's documented mezzotints has grown up to 65, and it seems likely that a thorough research into his life and activity could result in further increasing his oeuvre.