Printmaking, Mythology, and the Birth of the Baroque

Organized by The San Diego Museum of Art, Divine Desire: Printmaking, Mythology, and the Birth of the Baroque showcases engravings produced in the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in northern Europe and Italy. These sophisticated works of art, produced by the leading artists of the period, are assembled primarily from The San Diego Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection, together with several important loans from significant Southern California collections. Themes revolve around the romantic entanglements of the gods of Classical Antiquity and how such imagery relates to a Reformation/Counter-Reformation Europe. While these prints were produced using visually stunning and sophisticated techniques in order to delight the senses of their audience, their subject matter served a moralizing and instructive purpose. As in Greek and Roman times, the gods served as foils for contemporary mortals, complete with the imperfections inherent to human nature. By turns comic, erotic, satirical, and moralizing, the imagery reflects the norms and ideals of a society undergoing agonizing transition. Featured artists include Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1616), Jacob Matham (1571 – 1631), and Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528). The spectacular artistic achievements explored in Divine Desire signal a crucial moment in the artistic developments of the Baroque Age in Europe.

Admission is always free for Museum members. Not a member? Join today.

ABOVE  Hendrick Goltzius and Bartholomeus Spranger, Wedding of Cupid and Psyche, 1587. Engraving (3 plates). Collection of Norman Leitman.
The San Diego Museum of Art Celebrates 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park has been made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner.
SUPPORT FOR the exhibition Divine Desire: Printmaking, Mythology, and the Birth of the Baroque is provided by A.O. Reed, Ken Widder and Jacki Johnson-Widder, Norman Leitman, the Members of The San Diego Museum of Art and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program. Institutional support for the Museum is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
Jacob Matham, Hercules and Dejanira, ca. 1597. Engraving. Gift of Norman Leitman and Todd Butler, 2004.144.