Naoko Takahatake (Editor)
The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy
The art of the chiaroscuro woodcut is celebrated in this groundbreaking and generously illustrated book.
Chiaroscuro woodcuts are among the most immediately appealing of all historic prints, displaying exquisite invention, refined draftsmanship, technical virtuosity, and sumptuous color. Printing multiple woodblocks inked in different tones to create an image, the chiaroscuro woodcut was one of the earliest, most successful forays into color printing in Europe.
Following its invention in Germany, the technique was first adopted around 1516 in Italy where it flourished through the 16th century. This novel art form engaged the interests of the most celebrated artists of the Renaissance, including Titian, Raphael, Parmigianino, and Beccafumi, and underwent sophisticated developments in the hands of such printmakers as Ugo da Carpi, Antonio da Trento, Niccolò Vicentino, and Andrea Andreani. Featuring more than 100 prints and related drawings, this book incorporates pioneering art historical research and scientific analysis to present a comprehensive study of the subject. Essays trace its origins and evolution, describing both materials and means of production. Brimming with full-color illustrations of rare and beautiful works, this book offers a fresh interpretation of these remarkable prints, which exemplify the rich imagery of the Italian Renaissance.
NAOKO TAKAHATAKE is Associate Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.