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silverpoint, method of drawing whereby a silver-tipped instrument is dragged across paper prepared with ground bone dust and gum water and then tinted with a pigment. The procedure results in drawings of extraordinary delicacy. It was used extensively in Europe from the late Middle Ages to the early 16th cent. The silverpoint instrument was a silver thread encased in wood, similar in design to a modern lead pencil. Among the foremost practitioners of the medium were Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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