Around the middle of the 15th century, as the development of the printing press in the West led to an unprecedented exchange of ideas, artists began to make prints. By the year 1500, a new art form and a new means of communicating ideas was widespreadone that had as great an impact in its time as the Internet has had in our own.
Carnegie Museum of Art
holds an exceptional collection of prints from this period, from the masterful innovations of Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt in 16th- and 17th-century Northern Europe to the fantastical prints of Canaletto, Tiepolo, and Piranesi in 18th-century Italy. Small Prints, Big Artists, opening this summer, presents more than 200 masterworks from the museums collection of over 8,000 prints. The intimately scaled woodcuts, engravings, and etchings reveal the development of printmaking as a true art form. Due to their fragility, many of these prints have not been on view in decades.
Small Prints, Big Artists traces the development of prints over the centuries, exploring the evolution of printmaking techniques and unlocking the images hidden meanings. It offers a unique opportunity to discover works by some of the best-known artists of the Renaissance and beyond.
Adjacent to Small Prints, Big Artists in the museums Heinz Galleries, Faked, Forgotten, Found: Five Renaissance Paintings Investigated showcases forensic analysis of paintings in the museums collection that have undergone significant scientific examination and conservation. Learn how curators and conservators discovered a portrait of Isabella de Medici attributed to Alessandro Allori beneath the surface of a fake repainted in the 19th century, or discover how to tell the museums genuine painting by Francesco Francia of the Virgin and Child apart from later imitations and copies. The discoveries about each work are presented through extensive multimedia documentation, highlighting a fascinating but little-seen aspect of museum practice. The exhibition offers a behind-the-scenes perspective on the intersection of art and science taking place in the museum every day.