Copper as Canvas: Two Centuries of Masterpiece Paintings on Copper, 1575-1775

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9780195123968: Copper as Canvas: Two Centuries of Masterpiece Paintings on Copper, 1575-1775
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From December 1998, approximately 100 of the most important and best-preserved examples of paintings on copper from collections in the US, Europe, and South America, along with displays of copper mining and copper ores, and copper objects and printing plates from the period, were exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum, travelling next to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and then to the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis in The Hague. The artform of painting on copper dates back to the mid-16th century, when European artists found that the smooth surfaces of thin sheets of copper lent themselves to fine workmanship, were easy to handle, and even gave a luminous shine to the paint. Masters including Jan Breughel the Elder, Claude, El Greco, Reni, Guercino, Rembrandt, and Vernet are among those who produced fine works on copper. This collection brings together 100 full-colour and sixty-five black and white reproductions of these paintings, each accompanied by a detailed entry, as well an interdisciplinary range of essays covering the history of painting on copper.

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Michael K. Komanecky is Chair of the Curatorial Department and Curator of European Art at the Phoenix Art Museum. He is a specialist in European and American art and design.

Review:

This excellent catalog...exemplifies scholarly imagination and curiosity at its best. The authors examine how and why artists used copper plates for painting during the years 1575-1775....The discussion of the individual artists and works in the catalog of approximately 95 paintings and 66 artists are exhaustive. -- J. Houghton, CHOICE, December 1999

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Phoenix Art Museum
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