Jan Sadeler (Flemish, 1550-1600), after Dirck Barendsz. (Netherlandish, 1534-1592). The Last Judgment, late 16th century. Engraving. Gift of Walter Melion and John Clum.
The Michael C. Carlos Museum presents Through a Glass, Darkly: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt, on view from August 31 through December 1, an exhibition of 90 prints from artists such as Lucas van Leyden, Hendrick Goltzius, Jan Sadeler, and Rembrandt. From 1500-1700, printmakers in the Low Countries were, as a group, the most skilled and prolific in all of Europe, and prints, often combined with text, played an important role in Netherlandish religious culture during this period. Printmakers utilized allegory in their work to address the most fundamental issues binding the human and the divine: love, virtue, vice, sin, death, and salvation.
“Through a Glass, Darkly”: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt will be the first major exhibition to systematically consider the form, function, and meaning of allegorical prints produced in the Low Countries between the 16th and 18th centuries, and will serve as the basis for an illustrated catalogue produced by curators Walter S. Melion, Asa Candler Griggs Professor of Art History and director of the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University, and James Clifton, director of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation and curator of Renaissance and Baroque painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibition opens on August 31st at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University. Through a Glass, Darkly will be the first major exhibition to systematically consider the form, function, and meaning of allegorical prints produced in the Low Countries during the 16th and 17th centuries. Contemporary viewers will find themselves face to face with highly affective allegorical images, on the same journey towards understanding that the images’ intended audience would have undertaken. Though specific to the Low Countries during the 16th and 17th centuries, a period when understanding allegory was crucial to knowing God’s truth, Through a Glass, Darkly speaks more broadly to the communicative power of allegory and the way meaning is generated, conveyed, and interpreted.