Stiber Morenus Linda

Linda Stiber Morenus

hat auf dem Gebiet der Kunstwissenschaft promoviert

Titel der Dissertation: „Chiaroscuro Woodcut Printing in 16th- and 17th-century Italy: Technique in Relation to Artistic Style“

  • Dissertation

    „Chiaroscuro Woodcut Printing in 16th- to 17th-century Italy: Technique in Relation to Artistic Style“


    Drawing on international collections of Italian chiaroscuro woodcuts, such as at the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and British Museum, the author researched the printing techniques and colored inks used for these 16th- to 17th-century prints. She has devised a systematic methodology for the physical, chemical, and optical description of chiaroscuro prints based on the characterization of the inks (pigment composition, color, viscosity, etc.) and how they interact with the papers on which they are printed, as well as the manner of their printing (order in which the blocks were successively printed, wet ink on top of dry ink, apparent moisture of the paper support at time of printing, etc.).

    The study sheds light on the material composition of Italian chiaroscuro woodcuts through instrumental analysis of the pigments comprising chiaroscuro inks, and then assesses the associated degradation of these approximately 500-year-old prints and their potential for conservation intervention. The research draws inferences about the process of printing chiaroscuro woodcuts from the pigments identified in the inks and technical-visual examination of over 3000 historic impressions from different North American and European collections. To confirm the interpretation of material evidence observed in this 3000-print survey, the author makes experimental chiaroscuro woodcut re-creations that demonstrate the causal relationship between printing practice and print appearance, and enlarge our material understanding of the art form. The 30 resulting experimental models of chiaroscuro prints, made using 10 inks based on historical recipes and by varying different aspects of the printing process, serve as visual reference tools to analyze and describe historical chiaroscuro woodcuts by Ugo da Carpi, Antonio da Trento, Niccolò Vicentino, Domenico Beccafumi, Andrea Andreani, Bartolomeo Coriolano, and others.

    The cumulative data forms the basis for distinguishing the printing procedures followed in each printmaker’s workshop, thus establishing a “signature” of materials, methods, and style for these chiaroscurists. Taken with other art historical evidence, these characteristics clarify the workshop origin of impressions with questionable attributions. The technically oriented methodology of this research also helps to identify later reprints and editions made sometimes decades after the original block cutter’s death.

  • Publikationen

    L. Stiber Morenus, „Masking the Matrix: Technical Comparison of Niccolò Vicentino’s 16th – Century Chiaroscuro Woodcuts to Posthumous Impressions, including Andrea Andreani’s 17th – Century Restrikes,” Printing Things, in Savage, Elizabeth and Femke Speelberg (eds.), British Academy Proceedings, Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2021)

    L. Stiber Morenus, „Recreating the Italian Chiaroscuro Woodcut,” in Takahatake, Naoko (ed.), The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Prestel, New York (2018)

    L. Stiber Morenus, seventeen catalogue entries, in Takahatake, Naoko (ed.), The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Prestel, New York (2018)

    L. Stiber Morenus, Charlotte Eng, Naoko Takahatake and Diana Rambaldi. „Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Italian Chiaroscuro Woodcuts: Instrumental Analysis, Degradation and Conservation,” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 54, Issue 4, November, Taylor & Francis, UK. (2015)

    L. Stiber Morenus, „The Chiaroscuro Woodcut Printmaking of Ugo da Carpi, Antonio da Trento and Niccolò Vicentino: Technique in Relation to Artistic Style,” in Stijnman, Ad and Elizabeth Upper (eds.), Printing Colour in the Hand-Press Period: History, Techniques, Functions and Reception, ca. 1400-1800, Brill, Leyden (2015)

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