Nov 3, 2014

Venetian Set: Entombment of Christ

Venetian Set: Entombment of Christ


John Baptist Jackson

(British, 1701-c. 1780)

after Jacopo Bassano

(Italian, c. 1510–1592)

Chiaroscuro woodcut

Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1923.1053

Catalogue raisonné: Kainen 19



Jackson is the best known 18th-century specialist in chiaroscuro woodcuts. Woodcuts were not popular at this time, and the chiaroscuro technique never took hold in England, but he may have developed his interest in the medium from the Italian nobleman and printmaker Antonio Zanetti who reproduced his collection of Parmigianino drawings as chiaroscuros when in England around 1720. Jackson moved to Venice, where, in 1739, the great English patron Consul Joseph Smith and two other supporters commissioned him to produce chiaroscuro woodcuts after 17 paintings by the Venetian masters Titian, Paolo Veronese, Tintoretto, and Jacobo Bassano. Jackson completed the series in 1743, which was published by J. B. Pasquali in 1745 as a bound volume. These reproductions of masterpieces were meant as souvenirs for the tourist trade and the young gentlemen taking the Grand Tour of the Continent to further their education. Jackson's Venetian Set was the first large-scale group of chiaroscuro woodcuts to reproduce oil paintings. In order to capture the effects of color and light in the paintings, he created complex, virtuosic woodcuts with a multitude of lines and tones.

See also
PR - Chiaroscuro
Type of artwork: 

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