Intaglio: Italian Etchings and Engravings

Giovanni Battista Franco, Four Elephants, detail, 1540s, etching and engraving on cream laid paper, Austin S. Garver Fund, 1999.6.1

November 21, 2009 - March 7, 2010

Intaglio, a word derived from an Italian verb meaning “to incise,” is used in English to describe a family of print making techniques. For centuries the intaglio processes of engraving, etching, drypoint, and aquatint reproduced pictorial images providing the finest detail. This exhibition presents a selection of Italian prints that reflect the history of intaglio printmaking, from its inception in the fourteenth century through the era of its domination of printed pictures in the eighteenth century. These original works of art present a rich and fascinating range of subjects and styles, from the Renaissance through the Rococo period.

Among the printmakers whose work will be included in this exhibition are Giulio Campagnola, Marcantonio Raimondi, Annibale Carracci, Salvator Rosa, Pietro Testa, Giambattista Tiepolo, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

The exhibition will also provide instructive examples of the intaglio techniques of engraving, drypoint, etching and aquatint.