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Imperial Augsburg: A Flourishing Market for Innovative Prints

Gregory Jecmen, associate curator of old master prints and drawings, National Gallery of Art With a storied past and a strong imperial presence, Augsburg enjoyed a golden age in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, fostering artists such as Hans Burgkmair, Erhard Ratdolt, Daniel Hopfer, Jörg Breu, and Hans Weiditz. The artists flourished from about 1475 as the effects of the Italian Renaissance were first being felt, through the social, political, and religious upheavals of the Reformation, which took hold in 1537 following 20 years of struggle. In this paired lecture recorded on October 21, 2012, Gregory Jecmen explains this rich and varied history through more than 100 works featured in Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings, 1475-1540. Focusing on drawings, prints, and illustrated books mostly from the Gallery's own extensive collection, the exhibition- first of its kind in America- serves as an introduction to Augsburg, its artists, and its cultural history, during this period.