Prints Inspired by the Classical Past from Wake Forest Collections

JANUARY 24 – march 31, 2014

The arts of ancient Greece and Rome have fascinated artists for centuries. In the Renaissance, classical writings were rediscovered, edited, and presented to new audiences, and artists of that time strived to create images as perfect as classical sculptures that had recently be excavated. Later artists looked to the ancient ruins of Rome as remnants of a once glorious culture, reduced to a sad, crumbling state. By the nineteenth and twentieth century, artists began to react to the dominance of classical ideals; they openly mocked the myths or focused on the wilder, more violent aspects of classical culture. The classical tradition has come down to us in fragments, and that incomplete nature has allowed artists the opportunity to fill in and respond to what remains.

This exhibit presents prints and illustrated books from the Wake Forest Print Collection, the Student Union Collection, and Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections. It includes pieces by well-known masters like Claude Lorraine, Piranesi, Daumier, Cezanne and Picasso. The objects date from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, and are made with a variety of techniques from woodcuts and engravings, to inkjet prints. The exhibit was planned by the History of Prints class taught by Professor Bernadine Barnes in the fall of 2013.


Bernadine Barnes, Professor of Renaissance Art History

Students in History of Prints class (Art 258)

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