December 20, 2017
Marc Antonio Raimondi (c.1480-c.1534), Adoration of the Shepherds (The Life of the Virgin), 1506, engraving, 11 5/16 x 8 1/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
With a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, artists of the 18th and 19th centuries were once again passionately searching for ideal beauty in the human form. Art critics like Johann Joachim Winckelmann were influential in spreading an interest for the art of classical antiquity. Winckelmann declared that “there is but one way for the moderns to become great, and perhaps unequaled, I mean by imitating the ancient.” Artists of the 18th and 19th centuries copied works from the Renaissance that exhibited ancient forms and themes. The popularity and need for such classical models is witnessed at the turn of the 19th century when Adam Von Bartsch compiled a catalog chronicling all of Marc Antonio Raimondi’s engravings.