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Home>Exhibitions & Events>Exhibitions>The Origins of Engravings in Northern Europe (1400-1470)

The advent of engraving in the Western world was of major importance in both general and art history. From 1400 on, artists and engravers experimented with various techniques enabling them to produce and circulate series of identical images made by pressing an engraved, inked matrix onto a support.

Engravings soon spread throughout Europe, but the Germanic regions were the hub of this activity long before Gutenberg applied the invention to text printing in around 1450.

The exhibition presents the advent of engraving with a focus on a 70-year period prior to the beginning of the career of German artist Martin Schongauer, who significantly enhanced the status of engraving among the arts. Two major collections have been brought together for the first time on this occasion—the reserve collection of the Department of Prints and Photographs in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and the Edmond de Rothschild collection from the Louvre's Department of Prints and Drawings. The exhibition spotlights the various stages in the development of engraving, introducing its key figures, modes of production, uses and connections with other art forms.

A selection of works demonstrates the diversity of the subjects illustrated. In addition to religious themes, engraving also served to depict erotic images or genre scenes of remarkable modernity.

Organized by:

Séverine Lepape, Bibliothèque nationale de France

Practical information

From October 17, 2013 to January 13, 2014

Sully Wing, 2nd floor, Rooms 20-23

Opening hours:
Every day except Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Late opening on Wednesdays and Fridays until 9.45 p.m.

Admission with museum entrance ticket: € 12

Further information:
01 40 20 53 17