Giovanni Battista Tiepolo – elusive visions
Prints from the British Museum

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo – elusive visions

Some of the most significant and intriguing series created within the tradition of printmaking as it evolved in Europe, share a tendency to resist clear interpretation. From Jacques Callot’s Capricci (c.1617), Francisco de Goya’s Los Caprichos (1799) and Los Proverbios (c. 1816-24), to Pablo Picasso’s Vollard Suite (1930-1937), a common characteristic between these disparate bodies … Continue reading

Hendrick Goltzius – splendour and excess
Prints from the British Museum / Uncategorized

Hendrick Goltzius – splendour and excess

“The fact – and this will seem to many unbelievable – that his paintings by no means equaled his superb engravings did a lot to damage his reputation.”[1] Constantijn Huygens, 1630 The term ‘virtuosity’ rarely fails to surface when discussing the graphic oeuvre of Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617). Praised for his sheer technical brilliance, … Continue reading

Hercules Segers – on precipitous grounds
Prints from the British Museum / Uncategorized

Hercules Segers – on precipitous grounds

“The artist produces scenes that are like sheets of stone, whether these be jagged cliff faces or crumbling stone structures. Ostensibly revealing broad vistas, Segers’ landscapes instead form a stony wall of impenetrable material, confounding view with picture plane. The viewer is not meant to enter these spaces.”[1] And yet enter we do, into Segers’ … Continue reading

Cristofano Robetta – poetic imperfection
Prints from the British Museum

Cristofano Robetta – poetic imperfection

Cristofano Robetta (1462 – 1535 after) is not exactly a well known name, even to those interested in the early history of western printmaking. Over-shadowed by luminaries of his era, print historians have invariably discussed the awkward and technically unrefined aspects of his work. They also point out its heavily derivative nature as Robetta freely … Continue reading

Visioning The Planets in 15th century Florentine printmaking
Prints from the British Museum / Uncategorized

Visioning The Planets in 15th century Florentine printmaking

Baccio Baldini (c.1436–1487) is the elusive artist to whom these astrologically inspired engravings, created around 1464, are attributed. Titled The Planets, this series of seven prints reflect prevailing systems of knowledge that during the 15th century governed the way people viewed the world around them. Specifically, they refer to the Ptolemaic concept of the universe where … Continue reading