Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (around 1610-1664)

The Discovery of the Bodies of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Genoa, around 1645-1651 Etching Plate: 300 x 206 mm Mount: 557 x 404 mm Castiglione’s depictions of Biblical scenes are often engulfed by darkness; he was known to seek out religious subjects that required such tenebrism. His primary influence is often listed as Rembrant, … Read more

Hieronymus Cock (around 1510-1570)

Mercury and Argus The Netherlands, around 1558 Etching 227 x 324 mm In this print, the narrative of Mercury and Argus (from Ovid’s Metamorphoses) is dwarfed by the fantastic landscape. In keeping with Flemish tradition, Cock depicts all elements of nature: woodland, mountain ranges, river, fields and animals. This print features Mercury attempting to lull the … Read more

The Printed Word: Image, Text and Meaning

Text and image come under discussion in European prints from the 16th to the 20th century by or after artists as diverse as Samuel Palmer, Goya, Grosz and Miró. Inscriptions on portraits, literary references in historical images, lettering styles, and text as an element of composition: all these fascinating issues are explored. The display includes … Read more

The Mughals: Power and Beauty at the Indian Court

Courtly life, power and culture in the Indian subcontinent under Mughal rule (1526 – 1858) are explored in this fascinating display of drawings and prints, coins and manuscripts. Objects lent by the University’s Cadbury Research Library (CRL) and the private Hussain-Islimi Arts Collection – alongside rarely-exhibited works from the Barber’s own collection – reveal how … Read more

Truly Bright and Memorable: Jan de Beer’s Renaissance Altarpieces

Famed in his lifetime and for several generations after his death for his stylish and elegant paintings, Antwerp’s Jan de Beer (c. 1475 – 1527/28) created dazzling altarpieces that appealed to churches at home and abroad, copyists, patrons and collectors. However, his star subsequently waned until the early 20th century, when experts and connoisseurs began … Read more

Jan Joris van Vliet (around 1610 – after 1635)

The Carpenter The Netherlands, 1630-1640 Etching Plate: 208 × 163 mm Sheet: 222 × 169 mm Two carpenters work on planks of wood, surrounded by the tools of their trade. They are depicted as industrious and hardworking, focused intently on their craft. This print was originally one of a series of eighteen etchings of craftsmen … Read more

John Baptist Jackson (1701 – around 1780)

Christ on the Mount of Olives Venice, 1743 Chiaroscuro woodcut, printed from four blocks This woodcut is one of twenty-four Jackson made in Venice to reproduce a group of 16th century Venetian paintings by masters such as Titian, Veronese and Bassano. In this example he used four wood blocks, each inked with a different colour. … Read more

Antonio da Trento (about 1508 – after 1550)

The Tiburtine Sibyl and Augustus Italy, 1527-1530 Chiaroscuro woodcut 337 × 254 mm This woodcut depicts the legend of Sibyl (a female prophet) who revealed a vision of the Virgin and Christ, the child who would eclipse all the Roman gods, to Emperor Augustus. This tale, featured in The Golden Legend  connected Ancient and Christian … Read more

Marcantonio Raimondi (c.1480-1527/34)

The Massacre of the Innocents Rome, 1513-15 Engraving Paper: 278 x 430 mm Mount: 562 x 690 mm This harrowing scene depicts a key episode from the New Testament. Following the Magi’s prediction of the birth of the King of Jews, King Herod ordered the assassination of all male infants in Bethlehem. The idealised classical … Read more

Florentine (about 1500)

St Jerome in the wilderness Florence, about 1500 Engraving Plate: 222 x 282 mm  Mount: 405 x 557 mm The scholar St Jerome retired to the Syrian Desert to live in seclusion as a hermit. He is depicted in a traditional manner; dishevelled and semi-naked, with a rock for beating his breast. His customary attributes, … Read more