The first exhibition of its kind in the United States, Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze, brings together some 90 objects to highlight the impact of Renaissance prints on maiolica and bronze plaquettes. Accompanied by a publication that provides a comprehensive introduction to different aspects of the phenomenon—from the role of 15th-century prints and the rediscovery of classical art to the importance of illustrated books and the artistic exchanges between Italy and northern Europe—Sharing Images will be on view on the ground floor of the West Building from April 1 through August 5, 2018.
"This exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine the extent and depth of prints, plaquettes, and maiolica in the Gallery's collection," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "The visual links between these objects vividly demonstrate that Renaissance prints, produced in large numbers and rapidly diffused, were among the earliest viral images in European art. We are grateful for a grant from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, which made it possible to explore the complex and unpredictable connections shared between these works of art."
Arranged chronologically, this exhibition is inspired by the acquisition of the William A. Clark maiolica collection from the Corcoran Gallery of Art and draws largely on the Gallery's newly expanded holdings of early Italian prints (founded on the Rosenwald gift and augmented by recent acquisitions), as well as on the world-renowned Kress collection of plaquettes and medals. It traces the metamorphosis that designs by Andrea Mantegna, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Parmigianino, and Albrecht Dürer, among others, underwent across these different media.