Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

There’s a great video here about a current exhibit on prints.

Do you know how images such as the one at left were used?  Watch the video and find out.

From the site:  “Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe examines how celebrated Northern Renaissance artists contributed to scientific inquiries of the 16th century.

Rare and treasured prints, drawings, books, maps, and scientific instruments demonstrate that artists were not just illustrators in the service of scientists but that their work played an active role in facilitating the understanding of new concepts in astronomy, geography, natural history, and anatomy.

Featuring work by Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein, Hendrick Goltzius, Jacques de Gheyn and others, the exhibition was organized by the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in collaboration with the Block Museum.”

Here’s a link to a short video on anatomical flap prints.

For more videos on the exhibit, go to this link.

2 thoughts on “Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

  1. Chantel McKinley

    I found the link for Conversation Focus: Anatomical Flab Prints very interesting. I liked how Theresa in a simple way broke down the different parts of the drawings to explain in detail the work that went into making this print. The fact about how 24 woodblocks were used and how some of the woodblocks could be used over, but most of the details that made up the faces and the different organs were made by different woodblocks. The fact of how the paper was made was quite interesing. The fact that the paper was from a rag picker and made of linen cloth that had to be sorted, cleaned, beaten, and then hung over rope to dry made me realize how much work went into creating such beautiful drawings. When Theresa showed the wonderful detail that went into creating the layers of the organs that was a part of the study of anatomy I realize how much Science played a part into some of the beautiful work that was done on this print.

  2. mhowell2

    I found the incorporation of Anatomy to Art to be very interesting. It establishes that the artist is now cognitive of the portrayal of what it means to be feminine or masculine. The human form now, somewhat, begins to take shape in its portrayal. It is an innovative tool to use Anatomy because it breaks away from traditional ideas of peoples representations.

    In terms of Art, much effort was put into making the piece. The woodcuts were an interesting choice. Adding the color to them is an added bonus as well. The cloth itself seems to be interesting as it is much effort to make. The anatomy of the human forms seems less about the artistic representation, but more about the teaching of those who are viewing the piece. Although I do not think that the videos went into much detail on this information, the artwork seemed to be more focused towards teaching/informing the viewer on the portrayal of anatomy. It is beautifully rendered, but the idea to take away from here is that this artwork is a product of their efforts in Anatomy. Art is just a sub product that represents this.


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