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horse sketched by Edward VII

Explore royal copies of Great Masters in the Royal Collection

Giulio Clovio (1498-1578)

The Head of Minerva c. 1540

Grey chalk | 28.0 x 19.7 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 990453

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The eldest daughter of George III, Princess Charlotte, made this etching of Minerva, the Roman goddess of war and wisdom, based on a sixteenth-century chalk drawing then thought to be by Michelangelo. Etching was much easier than engraving and proved particularly popular among amateur artists: the etching needle could be treated like a pencil, and very little extra pressure was needed to sketch into the waxy ground which covered the metal plate.