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Drawing on Copper: Etching in Italy before 1700

April 19–August 16, 1998

This exhibition features about seventy-five Italian etchings from the Museum's permanent collection, including prints by Parmigianino, Guido Reni, and Castiglione. Italian artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries took advantage of the spontaneity offered by the technique of etching, and their prints are often free and sketchy in appearance. For viewers at the time, this roughness had specific associations with ideas about artistic genius and the artist's intellect. Drawn mostly from the collections of the Berman Gift, this exhibition includes rare and early impressions of prints known mainly in later states, providing an overview of a particularly interesting and innovative period in the history of printmaking.

Main Building


Stacey L. Sell • Cataloguer of the Berman Gift of European Prints
John Ittmann • Curator of Prints

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