CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Virtues and vices: moralizing prints in the Low Countries, 1550–1600

Exhibition: 1 December 2010 - 28 February 2011


From the museum website, 27 July 2010

This exhibition brings together a group of lively moralizing prints created between 1550 and 1600 in Antwerp and Haarlem, the two major print-publishing centers in the Low Countries. Both sobering and satirical, prints of this type were popular best-sellers, offering both moral instruction and visual delight to a newly expanded audience of educated Dutch and Flemish consumers. Familiar stories from the Bible, tales from Greek and Roman mythology, depictions of contemporary events, and scenes of everyday life all found favor with collectors. Ranging from the rowdy peasants and fantastic monsters of Pieter Bruegel the Elder to the muscular heroes and sensuous nudes of Hendrick Goltzius, some seventy engravings selected from the Museum’s collection demonstrate the variety of moralizing prints created by leading artists of the Low Countries during a period of significant political and religious change.