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The Dark Side of the Renaissance: The Bizarre in 16th Century Prints

Witches' Sabbaths, bizarre monsters, and skeletons engaged in macabre practices – this kind of imagery seems at total odds with the familiar pictorial language of the Renaissance, which is characterized by emulation of the classical world's ideals of beauty, a turning away from otherworldly concerns, and a conception of life that places humans at the center of the universe. For the first time, the exhibition is illuminating this obscure corner of Renaissance art. It shows that these images were not simply hangovers of the medieval imagination, but that new developments in areas such as science and artist training inspired unusual imagery and that printmaking was the medium of choice for the creation and dissemination of such images.

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