The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy

By Naoko Takahatake - Rating: 9/10

One of the best looking books on printmaking I’ve seen. Printed on a think matte stock, with over 100 catalog images and equally as many details and figures. The book opens with a few essays giving an overview of the process and a general history of the medium with its place in the Italian Renaissance. From then on it dives into the details of each print. For each example there’s a page or two which follows the formula: a paragraph describing the content, then comparisons between various states and editions of the print, and, finally, the majority is dates and attribution being nitpicked over. I’m glad I switched majors after one semester, because the nitty gritty of art history is capital-B Boring. But that’s neither here nor there. We’re here for the pictures! The last section of the book is perhaps the most informative. It is a mythbusters-style play-by-play of attempting to make chiaroscuro prints today using period-appropriate processes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published (privacy policy). Required fields are marked *