Anna Metz

from 15 February to 6 September 2020

Opening hours: every day except Monday, from 12 to 6 pm


The exhibition of the work of Anna Metz (born in Rotterdam in 1939) covers the whole of her output, from her first prints made during the 1960s to the polychrome etchings of wooded landscapes executed by her last summer after a journey to Spain.

Anna Metz, Narration (II): Puppet Falling, c. 1984 (printed 1990)
Etching and aquatint. – 177 × 143 mm
Collection of the artist

The display focuses more intensively on the work of the past twenty-five years. Metz had to support a family of three children financially and thus did not really find her own way until the 1990s, when she was over fifty. When her children became independent, she was able to experiment more with the technique of etching. At that time her work became more graphic than autobiographical. The view of a stretch of sea or sand, a fence, a bush or an old garment can inspire a print in which the motif soon gives way to the artist’s ‘adventure’ with the plate and acid.

Anna Metz, Kitchen Garden in Winter, 2002
Etching printed in colour. – 105 × 135 mm
Collection of the artist

Anna Metz explores etching in a remarkably free and unorthodox manner, reminiscent of the approach of her model Hercules Segers in the seventeenth century. She sometimes deliberately allows the acid to bite into a metal plate until it collapses. In addition, she adds scraps of paper, textile and aluminium foil to the base in her search for a unique impression. The result of this is that the differences inherent in the same edition are sometimes so great that it would be difficult to guess that the impressions all come from the same plate.

What starts as a landscape or a still-life soon follows its own particular path while it is being printed, transforming itself into a delicate combination of forms, colours and textures. Anna Metz likes chance to play its part. Still it is she who chooses which of the accidental elements to keep or discard. Those retained, she ‘showcases’ in her work.

Anna Metz, Seen from Above, 2004-2007
Etching printed in colour on lightly coloured chine collé, 140 × 180 mm
Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection, Paris (gift from J. P. Filedt Kok)

Curiously enough, after all the acid baths and the stages of printing, after all the experiments and leaving things to chance, most of the etchings still (or once again) evoke the landscape or still-life that first inspired Anna Metz to start work. ‘I think you have to be completely impregnated by a subject to be able to detach yourself from it’, she says. ‘All the same, I never produce the image I originally planned; in general, I showcase the opportunities the image offers me. It can turn out much larger than the idea I had of it at the outset.’



Anna Metz. Eaux-fortes
Jan Piet Filedt Kok and Gijsbert van der Wal
Paris, Fondation Custodia, 2020
163 pages, c. 100 colour illustrations, 25 × 25 cm, hardback
French edition: ISBN 978 90 6868 816 0
Dutch edition : ISBN 978 90 6868 808 5
29,00 €

Sold out in French. To order the Dutch version:

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Practical Information


Fondation Custodia / Collection Frits Lugt
121, rue de Lille - 75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 47 05 75 19

Access by public transport

Metro: Assemblée Nationale (line 12) or Invalides (lines 8 and 13)
RER C: Invalides or Musée d’Orsay
Bus: lines 63, 73, 83, 84, 94, Assemblée Nationale
Vélib’: station opposite (n° 7009)

Opening hours

Every day except Monday, from 12 to 6 pm

Admission charges

Admission charges 10 € (full) / 7 € (reduced)
The reduced rate is available to seniors (over 60), unemployed people, groups of at least 10 people

Free admission: students, press card, ICOM card, disabled person’s card

No online reservations

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