Back in the late-15th century, the metalsmiths who made suits of armor often decorated the armor with designs of flora and fauna. Printmaking began in their workshops as a way to record these surface designs on paper, so they could show them to future customers. The German artist Daniel Hopfer, however, was the first printmaker to use acid-treated metal plates to produce a print. For years Hopfer’s own etchings went mostly unobserved, but the medium’s popularity grew, attracting pioneering figures of the Renaissance such as Albrecht Dürer, Parmigianino, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. With 120 works on display, this exhibition examines the first 70 years of a magnificent artistic medium. —E.C.
Albertina Museum Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria Get Directions »