Early Modern Exchanges
29th May, 4.30pm, Foster Court 225
Gabriel Harvey's Reading
Mathew Symons (UCL, Centre for Editing Lives and Letters), Matching up the Margins: Across Gabriel Harvey's Books
Chris Stamatakis (UCL, English), How Gabriel Harvey Read His Castiglione
Respondent: Lisa Jardine (UCL, Centre for Editing Lives and Letters).
The Malone Society's John Edward Kerry prize has been won this year by one of our Early Modern Studies MA students for a project on Ralph Crane's scribal copies of Middleton's A Game at Chesse.
Details of recent publications by members of the Centre are available on our News page.
The Protestant Reformation provoked suspicion of images as idolatrous, and placed more value on the word; yet print-culture was crucial to the success of the reformed faith and portraits of influential reformers such as Philipp Melanchthon became a type of Protestant icon. With the dissemination of Renaissance humanism, influential texts also took on iconic status, whether ancient, such as Ovid, or modern, such as Montaigne. Later, with the development of the Grand Tour, admired artworks were copied, bought and sold, seized by conquerors, and proudly displayed.
Many of the images in this exhibition involve displacements which create a friction between image and context: a monkey in a northern European landscape; a pyramid in Rome; Jesuit missionaries in Chinese dress. Others involve looking afresh through the eyes of an outsider or newcomer, such as a rendition of Egyptian flora and fauna by a German artist, or a map of London by a Netherlander. Alongside these, early dictionaries reveal much about what different linguistic communities wanted to say to each other, or expected to need to say. Throughout the period, innovative forms of dialogue between word and image conveyed new thinking and new experiences.
The Apocalypse, 1498
woodcut on paper
8 out of set of 16 prints (including titlepage)
Dürer’s woodcut illustrations for The Apocalypse are some of the most visually dynamic images in the history of printmaking. He designed and published the set of 16 images to illustrate the last book of the New Testament: The Revelations of St John the Divine. The text foretells the destruction of the world through a series of apocalyptic visions experienced by the narrator, and the complexity of the fantastical narrative may have given Dürer the idea to illustrate this text. The timing of the publication probably contributed significantly to the success of The Apocalypse as it appeared just two years before the date of 1500, when popular speculation believed that the end of the world was approaching.
Dürer learned the fundamentals of his art while apprenticed under Michael Wolgemut, the illustrator of The Nuremberg Chronicle (see below in display box). This training led him to realise the wider potential of printmaking for the transmission of his own original designs. His prints were widely circulated across Europe in his lifetime, recognisable by his distinctive AD monogram which alerted viewers to his authorship. UCL Art Museum holds the entire set of 16 woodcuts from The Apocalpyse series.
1) The Virgin and Child appearing to St John (title page)
2) The Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist (plate 1)
3) The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (plate 4)
4) The Opening of the Sixth Seal and the Stars falling from Heaven (plate 5)
5) St John swallowing the Book (plate 9)
6) Michael and his Angels fight with the Dragon (plate 11)
7) The Whore of Babylon (plate 14)
8) The Angels with the Key to the Pit (plate 15)
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