This is the first in a series of blog posts discussing highlights of the exhibition A Celebration of Print: 500 Years of Graphic Art from the Frank Raysor Collection currently on display in VMFA’s Mellon Focus Galleries. Admission to this exhibition is free.
The Frank Raysor collection spans 500 years, from the late 15th to the early 21st centuries. This is the earliest item in the collection and it inspires me with its simplicity and earnestness.
Religious woodcuts were among the earliest printed communications in Europe. Meant to inspire popular devotion, these sometimes crude-seeming artworks often reach to the very core of faith. Here we are not presented with the narrative of Christ’s Crucifixion but rather his embodiment of man’s pain and suffering. Such humble yet heartfelt efforts were soon superseded in artfulness by Dürer and others – yet they still have the power to move emotionally and aesthetically.
This is the first in a series of posts where I hope to cover some of my favorite images from the exhibition A Celebration of Print – 500 Years of Graphic Art from the Frank Raysor Collection, now on view in the Mellon Focus Galleries and free of charge.
–Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the European Art Department
Christ as Man of Sorrows, (German), late 15th century woodcut. Promised gift of Frank Raysor, L.139.2010.1