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Introduction to the Exhibition: The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy

Naoko Takahatake, associate curator of prints and drawings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Chiaroscuro woodcuts simulate three-dimensional form through their successive impression of relief-cut blocks that define areas of dark and light. This style of printmaking flourished in 16th-century Italy, interpreting works by such masters as Raphael, Parmigianino, and Titian and boasting extraordinary craft as well as often striking palettes. Yet questions remain: exactly how were chiaroscuros created, in what sequence were the blocks printed, and why? In this lecture recorded on October 14, 2018, at the National Gallery of Art, Naoko Takahatake discusses the chiaroscuro woodcut as one of the most beautiful developments in the history of printmaking. The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy is on view through January 20, 2019.