Martin Schongauer (ca. 1430/1450–1491), Die Versuchung des heiligen Antonius, um 1470–1480, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Foto: Städel Museum

Enlarge image: Kupferstich mit einem bärtigen alten Mann in der Mitte, umgeben von verschiedenen Fantasiefiguren, die an ihm zerren

Before Dürer. The Early Engraving

28 Septembre 2022 - 8 January 2023
Städel Museum

In the fifteenth century, even before the invention of letterpress printing with movable type, the first techniques for printing images were developed. The woodcut led the way, with the technically more complex engraving following close on its heels. Emerging around 1430/40 from the gold engraving craft, the engraving not only provided a further method of reproducing religious and secular images, but also offered new artistic possibilities. Early on, for example, the Master E. S. (active 1440/50–1467) developed a systematic graphic language that would be capable of competing with the quality of painting. Martin Schongauer (ca. 1445–1491) perfected the process to the point where it could produce masterworks of a high technical and artistic standard. Nineteenth-century art historians – influenced, as they were, by Romanticism – were enchanted by the beauty of early engravings, which they perceived as direct and pure. A case in point is the Städel director Johann David Passavant who, around mid-century, amassed an outstanding collection of these works, many of which had survived in only a few prints. The Städel Museum is presenting a selection of especially superb and rare works from its collection.

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Städel Museum
Schaumainkai 63
60596 Frankfurt

+49 (0)69 60 50 98 200

U: 1-3, 8 (Schweizer Platz) Tram: 15, 16 (Otto-Hahn-Platz)
TUE – WED, FRI – SUN 10 am – 6 pm
THU 10 am – 9 pm

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