Exploring the art movements and styles of the eighteenth-century, this exhibition of prints places in context two iconic artists that epitomize the age: William Hogarth (British, 1697-1764) and Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720-1778). In Hogarth, we find his biting wit and humor in his satirical prints while at the other end of the spectrum is Piranesi’s neoclassical recording of views and architecture, both factual and fantastical.
Selected from the Frank Raysor Collection and the Harnett Print Study Center Collection, the exhibition features prints by more than forty artists. Subject matter ranges from Francisco Goya’s (Spanish, 1746-1828) dark Los Caprichos series to Jean-Antoine Watteau’s (French, 1684-1721) delicate and flirtatious scenes in the excessively ornamental Rococo style, from British political satire by Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827) to the delightful chinoiserie inventions of Francois Boucher (French, 1703-1770). The diverse selection gives us a visually stunning look at the eighteenth-century through prints by some of the great European and British artists of the period.
The exhibition is a collaboration of the University of Richmond Museums with Frank Raysor and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. It includes selections from the Harnett Print Study Center Collection, University Museums, and promised gifts to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from the Frank Raysor Collection. Presented as a companion to “Satire & Social Criticism: Prints by William Hogarth from the Collection” (see facing page), the exhibition was curated by Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums, and Kate Wiley, ’20, art history major, 2019 Harnett Summer Research Fellow, and 2019-2020 Curatorial Assistant, University Museums.