San Francisco

“Old Master Prints”

Achenbach Foundation For Graphic Arts

Engravings, etchings and woodcuts by 15th, 16th and 17th century masters. Changing attitudes toward the church as well as developments within the medium are indicated—the earliest works using every trick of the trade to emphasize the majesty of the Virgin and Child, the later ones identifying the Holy Family with the family of man.

Names of the artists represented in this group—Durer, Muller, Carracci, Schongauer, Robetta, Rembrandt and Tiepolo among them—support the thesis that great prints of original conception have almost without exception been made by great painters, not by professional printmakers. Also that many of the men who have made such prints have known very little about the routine techniques of the processes they used, which would indicate that most of what a man needs to make a good picture in a print is a special thought, the courage to see bravely, and to draw boldly, explicitly and expressively.

E. M. Polley