WFU gallery exhibits to show 16th-18th century reproductions of Italian masters, modern photographs

Seeing Italy through PrintsThe Charlotte and Philip Hanes Fine Arts Gallery at Wake Forest University will present “Seeing Italy through Prints,” a collection of 16th-18th century prints by artists such as Raphael, Titian and Michelangelo Feb. 6 – March 23. A second exhibit, “Veneration,” includes photographs exploring prayer and worship. Both exhibits will open with a reception Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. in the gallery.

“Seeing Italy through Prints,” in the main gallery, consists of more than 50 prints from the Wake Forest art collections, the Ackland Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia and Davidson College. Bernadine Barnes, associate professor of art at Wake Forest, is curator of the exhibit.

The upstairs gallery will feature the photographic images of Linda Connor, Jane Terry and Susan Harbage Page. Connor is a professor of photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. Terry is an associate professor of art at Meredith College in Raleigh. Page is a visiting associate professor of photography at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Seeing Italy through Prints“Seeing Italy through Prints” represents a sampling of the types of images printmakers created and sold before the invention and popularity of the photograph.

Today, due to advances in printing and photographic technology to reproduce images, it is easy to view the masterpieces of artists like Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. However, the only images available for reproduction and circulation closer to the time that these artists lived were prints by other artists.

Included in the exhibit are 16th-18th century engravings modeled after Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s frescoes in the Vatican. Also represented are woodcuts designed by Titian, chiaroscuro woodcuts that attempt to capture the color of Veronese’s paintings and Piranesi’s etchings of the great monuments of ancient Rome. The prints display a variety of techniques, ranging from extremely precise copies, to variations on the themes presented in the original artist’s work, to purely imagined scenes of classical subjects.

Barnes is the author of the book “Michelangelo’s Last Judgment: The Renaissance Response,” published by the University of California Press.

The photographs included in “Veneration” attempt to capture intangibles such as awe, faith, fear, loss and love. The artists use sacred and mystic imagery to illustrate their ideas about veneration.

Connor uses photographic techniques to bring together present-day religious sites and images from century-old glass plates. Terry’s photographs were taken shortly before her mother’s death, to provide a means of remembering. Page focuses on images of shrines in Jerusalem, votive candles and other religious symbols.

The exhibits and opening are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit or call 336-758-5585 for more information.

Editor’s Note: High resolution digital and slide images of prints included in “Seeing Italy through Print” are available through the News Service at 336-758-5237 or

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events