Special Topics in Art and Culture: Early Modern European Print Culture
In this small seminar we will study the material and visual culture of prints in Italy and the north of Europe circa 1450-1600, and the socio-historical context of print production and circulation. The introduction of printing with moveable type and new techniques of pictorial reproduction had an impact on culture and society that was comparable to that of the current computer and Internet technological revolution. Utilizing the excellent collection of intaglio prints in the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the early illustrated printed books in the Special Collections of the Harlan Hatcher Library, students will become familiar with a range of printing techniques (woodcut, engraving, etching, and dry-point) and the different categories and functions of prints. The rich variety of printed products executed in this period will be explored--from the work of accomplished masters like Marcantonio Raimondi, who reproduced compositions by Raphael, to hand-colored 'popular' religious prints that exhibit interesting pictorial strategies and graphic effects. We will consider theoretical arguments about the cultural significance of reproductive technology and the rise in visual literacy within different social populations and cultural spheres. We will move between the museum and the classroom, combining the careful study of the physical objects with investigations into the meaning of printed visual representation.
Estimated cost of Materials: $50 or more, but less than $100.
Category for Concentration Distributions: D. Europe and the U.S., 3. Early Modern