On Drawing: Mirrors at The Met

I’ve been very lucky, living about 3,000 miles from New York, to be able to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art just about every year for the past 30+ years. Nowadays I plan to get there about lunch time (after taking the train from Connecticut into the city) and after gathering my thoughts in the cafeteria I spend a leisurely afternoon noodling around just seeing what might catch my attention.

Of course I enjoy revisiting big name masterworks, but it seems that the memorable (and photographable) incidents now are little things, little surprises tucked away in more crowded displays in vitrines.

So here are some great line drawings, on the backs of Etruscan bronze mirrors, 3rd century BC.

Mirror a crop

Look at the descriptive quality of a few well chosen lines.

Mirror b crop

Look how that composition fits into the circle.

Mirror c crop

2,300 years before the loose lines of Matisse…


…or the exactitude of lines by Picasso.


Who knew the Etruscans could draw like that?


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