Mantegna to Hogarth

Virtuoso Engravers of Four Centuries

7 September 2007 - 7 October 2007

The second exhibition in the series devoted to various methods of printmaking will give an overview of engraving, the oldest intaglio technique of printing, with the aid of nearly two hundred works selected from the Museum of Fine Arts' rich collection of prints. The earliest engravings in the exhibition were made in the second half of the 15th century by Italian and German masters (Andrea Mantegna, Antonio Pollaiuolo, Martin Schongauer, Israhel van Meckenem). Most of the works to be displayed originate in the 16th century, which was the most prolific era of engraving. Among the most outstanding German masters of this period were Albrecht Dürer, Heinrich Aldegrever and Lucas Cranach, while the greatest Netherlandish masters included Lucas van Leyden, Hendrick Goltzius, Jan Saenredam, Aegidius Sadeler, Jacob Matham and Jan Muller. The Italian artists are represented primarily by Marcantonio Raimondi, Giorgio Ghisi, Jacopo de'Barbari and Marco Dente, while the French by Jean Duvet and the masters of the Fontainebleau School. The two centuries that followed are characterised mainly by reproductive prints; visitors will be able to see a selection of the engravings of the Carracci family, prints made after paintings by Rubens, and French portrait prints. An outstanding master of the 18th century is the English William Hogarth, many of whose plates are preserved by the Museum of Fine Arts.
The mezzotint technique, which was used mainly by artists in the 18th century, will also be presented at the exhibition. Other methods of printmaking came to the fore in the 19th and 20th centuries, with engraving declining to negligible importance; thus, giving an overview of the artistic treasure of four centuries, the exhibition concludes with works from the 18th century.
Alongside the engravings on display, books illustrated with prints will render the presentation complete.

Finally, the visitors will have the chance to view the tools used in engraving, as well as to become acquainted with the various stages of working copper plates. Precise detailed knowledge of the technique will be provided by the presentation of a graphic artist.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a series of family programmes and special children's activities. In addition to the educational and scholarly bilingual (Hungarian-English) catalogue, family brochures, as well as special publications for children, will assist in providing the most complete information possible to the visitors.