Traces: Renaissance Drawings for Flemish Prints

16 Jun-25 Sep 2022


Showcasing a selection from The Courtauld’s rich collection of drawings, this new display will explore the world of 16th century Flemish print production. 

Featuring print designs by some of the greatest Netherlandish artists of the era, including Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525-1569) and Maerten van Heemskerck (1498 – 1574), Traces offers a rare opportunity to see this lesser-known aspect of The Courtauld’s collection. 

It will delve into the traces left by the artists and craftsmen who created the designs for the flourishing print trade in 16th century Antwerp, a pre-eminent international hub for the graphic arts. Highly skilled draughtsmen produced finished designs which expert printmakers translated onto copper printing plates. In turn, these were published in great numbers by venturesome publishers who saw economic potential in the dissemination of relatively inexpensive prints. In this way, ingenious artistic ideas and elaborate motifs travelled and influenced the development of art across Europe – and beyond.