Cantor Arts Center Exhibition Features Chiaroscuro Technique: A First for Reproducing Color Images

Chiaroscuro Woodcuts from 16th-Century Italy:
Promised Gifts from the Kirk Edward Long Collection

November 3 – February 27, 2011

Stanford, California —The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University announces an exhibition on the 16th-century Italian invention of chiaroscuro, the first technology for reproducing images in color. “Chiaroscuro Woodcuts from 16th-Century Italy: Promised Gifts from the Kirk Edward Long Collection” features more than 20 works drawn entirely from Long's collection and is on view from November 3, 2010 to February 27, 2011.

“The exhibition includes many of the most famous examples from the first century of the chiaroscuro technique, tracing the evolution of thematic and compositional styles in 16th-century Italy,” said Bernard Barryte, the Center's curator of European art. “Chiaroscuro Woodcuts” showcases Bartolomeo Coriolano’s monumental “Fall of the Giants,” as well as important works by prominent masters such as Ugo da Carpi, who claimed to have invented the chiaroscuro technique, Parmigianino, a painter who experimented with the technique, Antonio da Trento, and Giuseppe Niccolò Rossigliano, called Vicentino.

Produced by a technique that was both difficult to master and labor intensive, the works on display illustrate the capacity of this hybrid medium to achieve both linear and painterly effects. The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to enjoy some of the first examples of color printing created by the Italian masters of this Renaissance technology.

“Chiaroscuro Woodcuts” is made possible by the Lynn Krywick Gibbons Exhibition Fund.

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VISITOR INFORMATION: Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am - 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm. Admission is free. The Center is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 pm weekdays and all day on weekends. Information: 650-723-4177,

PUBLICITY IMAGES: High-resolution images are available for publicity use. Contact Margaret Whitehorn at 650-724-3600 or email

Bartolomeo Coriolano,
The Fall of the Giants, 1647
Chiaroscuro woodcut
Lent by Kirk Edward Long, L.15.62.2007

Andrea Andreani
Allegory of Virtue (after J. Ligozzi), 1585
Chiaroscuro woodcut
Lent by Kirk Edward Long, L.15.129.2007