The Renaissance of Etching
Opening October 23, 2019
The history of printmaking has been punctuated by moments of great invention that have completely changed the course of the medium. The beginning of etching in Europe in the late 15th and early 16th centuries—when the technique moved out of the workshop of armor decorators and into those of printmakers and painters—represents one of those pivotal moments. Opening October 23, The Renaissance of Etching will trace the first sixty years of the etched print from its emergence in the workshop of the German printmaker and armor decorator Daniel Hopfer to the years when a range of artists from Germany, Flanders, Italy, and France began experimenting with the medium.
Etching, essentially drawing on the surface of a metal plate, had an ease that opened the door for all kinds of artists to make prints. Approximately 125 etchings—including masterworks by some of the greatest painters of the Renaissance, such as Albrecht Dürer, Francesco Parmigianino, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder—will be displayed alongside a number of drawings, printing plates, illustrated books, and armor.
Image: Daniel Hopfer (German, 1471-1536). Death and the Devil Surprising two Women (detail), ca. 1500-1510. Etching; first state of two. Plate: 6 3/16 x 8 7/8 in. (15.7 x 22.6 cm). Sheet: 6 5/16 x 8 15/16 in. (16 x 22.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1951 (51.501.383)