Location: Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery P6
Renaissance prints were important means to distribute religious teachings and imagery. While some artists working in these media were trained as painters, others brought the precision of goldsmithing to the art of engraving.
In the grouping currently on view in P6, masterful prints display Renaissance devotion to the lives of the saints and the life of Christ.
Highlights include the earliest print in the Museum’s collection of the Adoration of the Magi as well as the first engraved depiction of Christ carrying the cross. Images of the saints were not always simply objects of devotion.
The depiction of St. Baldedrudis was commissioned to document his patron’s supposed saintly lineage. A richly woven textile, teeming with flora and fauna, shows that the many of the same motifs of contemporary prints also appeared in religious vestments.
Image: Martin Schongauer, German, ca. 1450-1491. The Large Bearing of the Cross, ca. 1470. Engraving. Plate: 11 ⅜ x 17 inches (28.73 x 43.18 cm) Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 33-1452.