In the last decade of his life, acclaimed painter Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) began a printmaking project that would change the conventions of portraiture: the Iconography. This art history–changing series of over 100 portrait prints radically depicted artists on par with the most significant monarchs, diplomats, and scholars of the day. Presenting several etchings from the Iconography—on view for the first time in nearly 90 years—together with works by various artists from the 16th through the 20th century, this exhibition examines Van Dyck’s lasting influence on the evolution of the portrait print and its significance as a distinct genre.
Though already celebrated internationally for his work as a painter, Van Dyck contributed directly to the Iconography series, producing 15 etchings with his own hands. In many other cases, printmaking specialists and collaborators such as Lucas Vorsterman (1595–1675) and Paulus Pontius (1603–58) realized prints for the series based on Van Dyck’s drawn or painted designs. The Art Institute of Chicago is fortunate to own all of the etchings that Van Dyck made along with several prints from the series designed by the artist and produced by his hired printmakers. Despite the significance of these etchings to Van Dyck’s career and their importance to the history of portraiture—and indeed to the history of printmaking—these works have not been exhibited publicly at the Art Institute since they first entered the collection in 1929, and their impact on the broader field of the portrait print has not yet been fully examined.
Comprising approximately 140 works, including selected subjects from Van Dyck’s Iconography, this exhibition features prints from five centuries. The earliest works, by artists such as Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), precede Van Dyck’s career, while portraits by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) and Jan Lievens (1607–74), artists who followed Van Dyck, demonstrate his immediate influence. Continuing to follow Van Dyck’s impact on the genre are works by artists such as Francisco de Goya (1746–1828), Edgar Degas (1834–1917), Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), and Chuck Close (born 1940). Adding to the presentation is a gallery that explores the political role of the portrait print as well as one devoted to portraits created in various media during the 17th century—drawings, painted miniatures, wax and marble sculptures, and paintings of an intimate scale—all highlighting the unique qualities of the portrait print.
Catalogue A full-color publication of 112 pages accompanies this exhibition.
1 hour 31 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry
With their plush, inviting, and varied textures, the velvets featured in this exhibition showcase the diversity of modern velvet as well as the effects of industry on its production. As industrial innovations at the turn of the 19th century allowed for faster production and encouraged the use of less costly materials, designers and manufacturers of velvet sought to maintain its association with wealth, luxury, and splendor.
Learn how this elegant fabric has inspired designers for centuries, with a wide range of examples from the 19th century to present day—closing March 19.
12 hours 30 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Just like the museum's collection comes from artists around the world, so does the Museum Shop’s assortment of products. We source exclusive products from artisans that are inspired by the cultures, mediums, and techniques represented in our museum collection. View our assortment of unique items from India.
21 hours 38 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–1975
Provoke was the English-language title for a Japanese photo magazine of the late 1960s; the name also designates the group of photographers and writers who put that formative publication together. Their influence has grown so great that the “Provoke era” is now international shorthand for sixties counterculture in Japan. This generational uprising swelled from the massive unrest, and sheer cultural disorientation, that accompanied the country’s transformation from ruined empire to superpower after World War II.
This exhibition places the achievements of Provoke alongside those of protesters and protest collectives, who made riveting photobooks, films, and photographs throughout the same era, as well as artists and art collectives keenly interested in live performance and its relation to the mechanical image.