The Renaissance of Etching
On view: October 23, 2019–January 20, 2020
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue, NYC
This winter The Metropolitan Museum of Art will showcase a new exhibition that highlights the history of early printmaking and the art of etching. The new exhibit, titled “The Renaissance of Etching,” will cover six decades of history from the 15th century to the middle of the 16th century with drawings, printing plates, books, and more than a hundred etchings from a broad range of artists. This artistic method in which lines and designs are drawn on metal plates using acid to cut into the material was a groundbreaking revelation in 16th century Europe. The skill allowed artists to experiment and get creative with the medium, leading to fascinating and diverse prints. The process revolutionized how people created and shared images, which allowed artists to expand on their work. The new technology is part of what bridged the gap between the middle ages and modern-day civilization.
The exhibition will guide viewers through the history of how etching changed the art world. Americans might find it especially fascinating to learn about the explosion of creativity the Germans, Italians, Flemish, and French went through as artists used etching to their advantage to create intricate, inexpensive prints that could be easily shared with a large audience. Incredible renaissance painters such as Albrecht Dürer and Francesco Parmigianino became pioneers of the medium after Daniel Hopfer used it to decorate armor. Etching is still very much relevant today, as many artists still use it for their work.
“The Renaissance of Etching” is on view through January 20th, 2020. Get tickets on their website.