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(l to r): Urbino (?), Plate with Il Morbetto (The Plague), c. 1535/1540, maiolica, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection (William A. Clark Collection); Marcantonio Raimondi after Raphael, Il Morbetto (The Plague), c. 1514, engraving, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of W. G. Russell Allen

Introduction to the Exhibition—Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze

Jamie Gabbarelli, assistant curator of prints, drawings, and photographs, RISD Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze, the first exhibition of its kind in the United States, brings together some 90 objects to highlight the impact of Renaissance prints on maiolica and bronze plaquettes, the two media most dramatically influenced by the technology of image replication. Inspired by the acquisition of the important William A. Clark maiolica (glazed Italian ceramics) collection from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and drawing largely on the Gallery’s newly expanded holdings, the exhibition focuses on designs by major artists such as Andrea Mantegna, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Parmigianino, and Albrecht Dürer, telling the story of how printed images were transmitted, transformed, and translated onto ceramics and small bronze reliefs, creating a shared visual canon across artistic media and geographical boundaries. To celebrate the opening of Sharing Images on April 1, 2018, Jamie Gabbarelli provides an overview of the exhibition, as well as an introduction to some its major themes, including the role prints in the rise of istoriato (maiolica painted with narrative scenes; literally, “painted with stories”) and the rediscovery of ancient art, the manipulation and misunderstanding of visual models, and the artistic exchanges between Italy and northern Europe in the age of print. Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints Into Maiolica and Bronze is on view through August 5, 2018.

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