Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Old Master Works on Paper

diana_with_two_putti16th and 17th Century Old Master Works on Paper brochure

The acknowledgment of drawing as fundamental to the creative process, in addition to its status as an independent aesthetic endeavor, has its origin in the Italian Renaissance.  By the 1600s, drawings of all types had come to be fully appreciated and collected by artists and connoisseurs alike. While drawings are unique objects, prints are multiple originals. Initially, they developed in tandem with printed texts, replacing illuminated manuscripts. By the 1500s, the printed image gained autonomy from texts and was elevated to a fine art.  

The prints and drawings on display here were the subject of a seminar led by Prof. Robert Randolf Coleman. By examining materials, style, and iconography, students learned the role that the physical object plays in understanding works on paper as an aesthetic experience and as a historical document informing us about important social, political, cultural, or theological issues of the day. This exhibition and its accompanying catalog are efforts to share the results of their findings.  

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