Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public

Available for Special Order
Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public

The first comprehensive history of late medieval printmaking, which transformed image production and led to profound changes in Western culture

This highly anticipated and beautifully illustrated book examines the evolution of early printmaking in late medieval Europe. Through their means of production and the evidence of their utility, prints are explored in a broad social and economic context. Key topics include the complex problem of reconstructing the beginnings of the European woodcut; the practice of copying and dissemination of models endemic to the medium; and the varied functions of the print from the spiritual to the secular.

A team of expert authors examines the many ways in which fifteenth-century woodcuts and metalcuts reflect the nature of piety and visual experience. Replicated images helped to structure private religious practice, transmit beliefs, disseminate knowledge about material facts, and graph abstract ideas. Mass-produced pictures made it feasible for people of all stations to possess them, thereby initiating a change in the role of images that eventually helped alter the definition of art itself.

The Origins of European Printmaking is an essential book for art historians, students, and collectors, as well as the general reader with an interest in medieval history and culture.

Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Exhibition Schedule:

Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg (December 14, 2005 - March 19, 2006)

National Gallery of Art, Washington (September 4 - November 27, 2005)

Publication Date: 
September 15, 2005