John Baptist Jackson Chiaroscuro Woodcuts

In 1739, the British artist John Baptist Jackson conceived of a book reproducing seventeen of the great Venetian paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Leandro da Ponte Bassano, Jacopo Bassano, and Francesco da Ponte Bassano. Titled Titiani Vecelii, Pauli Galiarii, Jacobi Robusti et Jacobi de Ponte opera selectiora, Jackson’s book is now considered a monument in eighteenth-century printing. Jackson revived the complex Renaissance printing technique of dividing the design between several blocks, each printed in a different color, to give the image depth and dimension. His friend and fellow expatriate, Joseph Smith, printed and published the twenty-four chiaroscuro plates under his imprint Pasquali Press.

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