Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy

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Edited by Naoko Takahatake

Contribution by Jonathan Bober, Linda Stiber Morenus, Antony Griffiths, and Peter Parshall

The art of the chiaroscuro woodcut is celebrated in this groundbreaking and generously illustrated book.

Chiaroscuro woodcuts are among the most immediately appealing of all historic prints, displaying exquisite invention, refined draftsmanship, technical virtuosity, and sumptuous color. Printing multiple woodblocks inked in different tones to create an image, the chiaroscuro woodcut was one of the earliest, most successful forays into color printing in Europe.

Following its invention in Germany, the technique was first adopted around 1516 in Italy where it flourished through the 16th century. This novel art form engaged the interests of the most celebrated artists of the Renaissance, including Titian, Raphael, Parmigianino, and Beccafumi, and underwent sophisticated developments in the hands of such printmakers as Ugo da Carpi, Antonio da Trento, Niccolò Vicentino, and Andrea Andreani. Featuring more than 100 prints and related drawings, this book incorporates pioneering art historical research and scientific analysis to present a comprehensive study of the subject. Essays trace its origins and evolution, describing both materials and means of production. Brimming with full-color illustrations of rare and beautiful works, this book offers a fresh interpretation of these remarkable prints, which exemplify the rich imagery of the Italian Renaissance.

Hardcover with jacket, 288 pages, 192 color illustrations

Dimensions: 9.75 x 11.25 x 1.25 inches

About the Author:
Naoko Takahatake is Associate Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“More than 100 such chiaroscuro prints, including ones after Raphael, Titian and Parmigianino, were on view earlier this year at LACMA…and in the show’s catalog, Ms. Takahatake shows step-by-step how Italian artists made these rich prints. This is an authoritative volume, and a handsome one too, laid out with spare elegance ... and printed on caress-inviting matte stock.” – The New York Times

“Brimming with full-color illustrations of rare and beautiful works, The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy offers a fresh and informative interpretations of these remarkable prints, which exemplify the rich imagery of the Italian Renaissance — making it a critically important and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university libraries.” – Midwest Book Review