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Stunning works of the great engravers of the past.

Engraving appeared in the 15th century, along with the printed book and the great geographical discoveries. As a new art form that is available by virtue of cheapness, engraving extremely quickly gained popularity. It was the first illustration in the book, first in the form of woodcuts (woodcut), and then the cutting and engraving (on metal).

Plots prints are as varied as life itself, and it seeks to accommodate her in all its manifestations. images of ancient mythology, views of distant countries, the rulers of the portraits, both secular and religious activists, writers and artists, images of flora and fauna, fashion pictures, calendars, maps, drawings, gardens and parks, the famous monuments of antiquity after the traditional religious subjects appear in it.

On the one hand, the engraving is laconic, there is nothing superfluous, everything is left to chance. On the other - the work of engravers are full of hints and allusions, everything has a metaphorical meaning, every object in accordance with medieval tradition corresponds to a specific concept.

Presenting your attention the most famous engravers of several eras and their most outstanding work.

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

Albrecht Durer was famous at an early age by their engravings and today is considered the most famous of the artists of the Renaissance. The family Albrecht had 18 children, he was the third child and second son in the family. Durer's father took him to his workshop to teach work with gold, but the boy showed talent for painting, and so I went apprentice to an engraver Michael Wohlgemuth.

Dürer was still amazing and gifted as a painter, printmaker and draftsman, but the main place in his work belongs to the graph. His legacy is huge in its diversity it can be compared with the legacy of Leonardo da Vinci.

"Knight, Death and the Devil." 1513

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On the basis of the symbolism of objects surrounding the knight, we can say that it represents the most negative force and combined with the devil, and not its victim. It is no accident at the height of the rider attached to a fox's tail, a sign of a knight - the robber. Image fox tail was associated with the idea of ​​lying, hypocrisy, the desire to snatch a share of earthly goods cunning. image of a dog is stated here as the devil's commitment, greed and envy. Lizard - a symbol of pretense, the evil demon. The skull is associated with death and original sin.

"Melancholy". 1514

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The Soviet critic T. G. Nesselshtraus so analyzes the engraving: "... in front of us the sea-shore, boundless expanse of water and the twilight sky, cut by a rainbow and sinister rays comet. In the foreground, surrounded by scattered in disarray carpentry and building tools, sitting, resting hand to head, lost in deep thought winged woman. In her hand open compass, a belt tied a bunch of keys and purse. Nearby on the ground is a wooden ball is seen on a large stone polyhedron, because of which looks crucible.

Behind the woman climbed onto the millstone moody boy hardly takes something on the board. Near curled a skinny dog. Right in the back stands a stone building, it may be unfinished, since to him leaning against a wooden staircase. On the walls of the building hang hourglass, scales, and the bell is inscribed and a magic square. In the sky, in the rays of the comet, spread out the wings of a huge bat. Mouse wings inscription: "Melancholia I" (...)

Immediately sensing that a winged woman oppressed doubt and dissatisfaction, the viewer, however, it becomes a dead end in front of a lot of scattered hints here. Why Melancholy depicts a winged, which means its inaction, that the boy is shown behind, what is the significance of the magic square, which are scattered around the tools?

"Saint Jerome in His Study". 1514

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St. Jerome working hard, his pen in his hand, his head surrounded by light. On the table, only to stand for books, her work of St. Jerome, a crucifix and inkwell. In the foreground is a small dog sleeping peacefully and menacing lion - is a necessary part of the legend of Jerome's Cathedral. A large number of parts and their meticulous attention to amazing. The picture is full of small objects - symbols that catch the eye of the observer. Questions are being raised more questions than answers on them, and it makes a great deal to think intensely.

"Adam and Eve". 1504

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The plot prints - a classic representation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is believed that the prototype for the figures of Adam and Eve were the drawings of ancient statues of Apollo Belvedere and the Medici Venus. Dürer left the engraving full signature, unlike his other etchings, marked only the monogram.

"The Walk". 1496

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The plot of "Walking", at first glance, simple: a young couple in the rich burgher costume walks in the countryside, in the background is seen the rural landscape and tree. However, the author laid down a deep philosophical meaning of the story - in the image of Death with an hourglass on his head, peering from behind a tree. Therefore, it is thoughtful faces of the young people.

It acquires a special meaning and bleak landscape, evoke the hopeless longing bush grass with sharp and dry leaves, limp flexes in the wind. All reminded of the time being. Rising above the village in the distance like a young couple is separated from the figure of Death, it gives an acute sense of loneliness and isolation from the world.

"The Abduction of Proserpine on a Unicorn." 1516

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Proserpina, daughter of Ceres, goddess of grain, picking irises, roses, violets, hyacinths and daffodils in the meadow with her friends when she noticed, was smitten with love, Pluto, king of the underworld. He raced off her chariot, forcing asunder abyss was carried out in the underworld before them and Proserpine. Pluto was forced to let her go, but before that gave a taste of the pomegranate seed that she had not forgotten the kingdom of death and returned to him. Since then Proserpine half years spent in the realm of the dead and half - in the realm of the living.

"The family of Satire." 1504

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The artist studied proportions, worked on the problem of nudity. In the works on mythological themes Dürer sought to embody the classical ideal of beauty. Ambience rounded, almost sculptural forms emphasized as if gliding over the surface of the structure forms across kruglyaschimisya strokes. In the picturesque forest landscape interpret organically includes human and animal figures embodying various characters.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778)

Piranesi created the "architectural fantasies", offers dramatic spatial solutions, contrasts of light and shadow. Piranesi's works have always been appreciated by collectors as a manifestation of an amazing imagination and the highest artistic skill.

His work has inspired many artists: dungeons Piranesi admired Victor Hugo, created under the influence of a series of drawings. Under the influence of his prints are created the scenery for "Hamlet" by Shakespeare and Beethoven's "Fidelio," the opera.

And, as would be terrifying as it may sound, Piranesi architectural ideas inspire architects totalitarian regimes, Mussolini's Italy, Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Third Reich, and at the same time, it has become almost a favorite architect of post-modernism.

The most famous work of the engraver - cycle "Dungeon" and the cycle "Roman antiquity."

The cycle of "Dungeon" (1749-1750)

"Dungeon" in drawing much more expressive, delirious than others of Piranesi works of the same period. They are compared with delusions, nightmares, subconscious breakthrough. Is lost in the darkness, and the height of the column. Chains and rings for attaching shackles, embedded in the wall and beams. Drawbridges, dangling inside the building. Scatter in different directions corridors with cameras. Massive stones stacked in the pylons and arches. Pedestrian bridges at a terrible height. Twisted and bent at unnatural angles stairs. Infernal machine imprisonment depicted with dramatic, excessive for a fan of classical beauty. The works are executed with remarkable precision and terrifies the viewer into believing that everything is really there.

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Cycle "Roman Antiquities" (1748-1788)

In this collection of Piranesi recreated the image of Rome in all its diversity. He performed numerous views of the city and from the point of view of a scientist and traveler's point of view. He saw that the remains of ancient Roman buildings disappear day after day from the damage caused by time, by the greed of owners, who with the barbaric impudence illegally sold out their parts for the construction of new buildings. So he decided to retain them through engravings.

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"Trevi Fountain". 1776

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"Marina View Ripa Grande". 1752

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"marina view Ripetta". 1753

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569)

Sacramental life and the fate of Bruegel. Until now, researchers are looking for a fantastic village of the same name, supposedly gave its name to the young vagabond who came for the mythical fish wagon train to Antwerp and, although late and came to the arts and sciences, soon made up for everything brilliantly.

"The Alchemist". 1560s

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Brueghel the engraving in an ironic vein portrayed the alchemist who creates a model of the world and mirosozidayuschih processes aims to play and space spirituality, based on the idea of ​​the unity and universality of the world changes.

"Fools and Jesters"

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The main mystery of this print is a year of its creation. The engraving shows the date - 1642, but Bruegel the Elder died in 1569. His son - the younger Brueghel prints are not fond of, although he was an artist. Perhaps the figures in the engraving - not a date.

Gustave Dore (1832-1883)

Dora can rightly be called a colossus illustration, because he seems to interpret all the masterpieces of world literaury.

Talent in addition to the composition and below, Dore possesses the gaze that is inherent poets knowing secret nature. When, in the 1860s, engraving began to gain popularity with the public crazy, every author who wrote the book, wanted to Dore illustrations for it. Each publisher who published the book, tried to release it with illustrations Doré. The number of figures engraver reached by May 1862 and forty-four thousand.

"Paradise Lost." 1866

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One of the illustrations made by Dora the poem of John Milton's "Paradise Lost." This engraving shows a fallen angel who was cast out of Paradise for pride.

"The Flood". 1866

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"The Divine Comedy"

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One of the illustrations to the "Divine Comedy" by Dante.