The considerable fame of Mellan’s Sainte Face can be credited to its technical brilliance: the whole image is made from a single line, suggesting that Mellan never once lifted his burin from the copperplate. It is only the varying thicknesses of the lines, and the varying distances between the lines, that produce the contours and shading of Christ’s face. According to legend, when Christ was on the road to Calvary, Veronica handed him a cloth or veil with which to wipe the perspiration from his face; this cloth (sometimes called the Sudarium) thereafter carried the image of Christ’s face. Such an image, made without the intervention of human hands, was thought to be a “true image,” or vera icon (note the association with the name Veronica). Printmakers liked the resonance with their own craft, whereby the impressions yielded from the plate—images appearing on a sheet—were not made directly by human hands but by the intermediary of a printing press. This quasi-miraculous aspect is especially pertinent in a case of extreme virtuosity like Mellan’s engraving.