In seeing printed reproductions as a form of response to Michelangelo's work, Bernadine Barnes focuses on the choices that printmakers and publishers made as they selected which works would be reproduced and how they would be presented to various audiences. Six essays set the reproductions in historical context, and consider the challenges presented by works in various media and with varying degrees of accessibility, while a seventh considers how published verbal descriptions competed with visual reproductions. Rather than concentrating on the intentions of the artist, Barnes treats the prints as important indicators of the use of, and public reaction to, Michelangelo's works. Emphasizing reception and the construction of history, her approach adds to the growing body of scholarship on print culture in the Renaissance. The volume includes a comprehensive checklist organized by the work reproduced.
Prize: Honorable Mention for the IFPDA Book Award, 2011
'This book is a study of sixteenth-century reproductive engravings after Michelangelo. Bernadine Barnes gives an excellent, well-organised overview of this vast production (141 prints appear on her checklist) and successfully deals with the basic problem that, notwithstanding Michelangelo’s fame, until now this oeuvre had been regarded as of only secondary importance.' Burlington Magazine
'… offers a nuanced and insightful account both of prints after Michelangelo and more generally of reproductive engraving during the sixteenth century.' Renaissance Quarterly
'… the study of Michelangelo’s reproductive prints is an obvious place to begin to reconsider the role of reproductions in the visual culture of the Renaissance. Barnes’s study succeeds as an excellent source to begin such a reassessment … [and] can be regarded as a strong contribution to the scholarly literature of Renaissance visual culture.' Sixteenth Century Journal
Contents: Introduction; Michelangelo in fragments: prints after The Battle of Cascina and other works; The slow unveiling of the Sistine Chapel ceiling; From private to public: the presentation drawings in print; Private spaces made public: prints of The Last Judgment and the Pauline Chapel frescoes; Michelangelo among the ancients: prints of his Roman architecture; From sculpture to print; On seeing and describing; Conclusion; Checklist; Bibliography; Index