The catalogue begins with an introduction tracing the history of Italian printmaking from the years in which the country achieved its independence, discussing the parts played by exhibiting organisations, critics and publishers as well as by the artists themselves. Many of the printmakers were also writers, and the links between them and contemporary poets and novelists is also discussed. Italian printmakers made distinctive contributions to European art in the years covered by this exhibition, beginning with the 'realist' Giovanni Fattori, contemporary with the Impressionists, and the symbolist landscapes and imaginative subjects of turn-of-thecentury artists. The publication will also discuss prints by artists such as Boccioni, which immediately preceded their adherence to Futurism. The interwar years were notable for the etchings of Morandi, perhaps the greatest still-life artist of the twentieth century, which will be set in the context of the works of his contemporaries.
Martin Hopkinson was curator of Prints at the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, for twenty years from 1977 to 1997. He is now a freelance art critic and writer.