Chiaroscuro woodcut (in four shades of green)
Support: Laid paper, laid down on wove? paper
Sheet: 47.7 x 34.7 cm (18 3/4 x 13 11/16 in.)
The Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1923.1052
Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch 10 (XII.100)
In his Lives of the Artists (1550), Giorgio Vasari described Diogenes twice, praising it as Ugo da Carpi's most accomplished and beautiful print.
Diogenes was a Greek philosopher who lived during the 300s BC. The bird in the background alludes to his cynical response to Plato, who had described man as a featherless biped. Diogenes plucked a rooster and brought it to Plato’s school, exclaiming, “Here is Plato’s man!” Ugo da Carpi was influential in the development of the chiaroscuro woodcut in Italy. The term chiaroscuro combines the Italian words chiaro (light) and scuro (dark). Invented to emulate drawings with light and dark pigments on tinted paper, the printing technique uses multiple woodblocks to layer different tones of color. This example, considered a masterpiece of Renaissance printmaking, uses four shades of green to render tonal values; the paper provides the lightest color in the composition.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.