Art Lovers Won’t Want to Miss “The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy” at the National Portrait Gallery
The history of printmaking is, in some ways, the history of our contemporary world. The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy, the new traveling exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, chronicles both the art and craft of wood block printing in the 16th century, bridging the gap between the pre-modern and the modern world.
Naoko Takahatake, curator of prints and drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, conceived of this show while he was an intern at the National Gallery. The idea is to reveal the process by which artisans developed a process to reproduce masterpieces of Italian renaissance painting, by creating a series of wood blocks, cutting and inking them individually, and then printing them as a series. The result is beautiful works of art that are also marvels of renaissance technology. The exhibit is located on the ground floor of the West building and is, like everything at the National Gallery, free and open to the public.