Sebald Beham German, 1500-1550 After Agostino Veneziano Italian, 1509-1536 Penance of St. John Chrysostomus, c. 1541-45 Engraving 2-3/16 × 3-1/16 in. Gift of Elizabeth, Julie, and Catherine Andrus in Memory of John and Marion Andrus 2015.93.110

Actual Size: The Triumph of Tiny Prints

May 28, 2016 - November 13, 2016
The Winton Jones Print and Drawing Gallery (G344)

Many great printmakers sometimes went small, eager to see what virtuoso feats of miniaturization they could wrest from their engraving tools. Mia Life Trustee John E. Andrus III had a particular passion for these small-scale marvels, and now selected works from his exceptional collection are being unveiled in the Jones Gallery. They are part of a generous gift of more than 230 works from John and Marion Andrus’s three daughters, Elizabeth, Julie, and Catherine.

This display focuses on prints from the 16th and 17th centuries. Most are no bigger than a credit card. Some, like Rembrandt’s Goldsmith, have an intimate, personal feel. Other prints began life as ornamental designs for dagger sheaths and watchcases. Subjects include Hercules, vanities, and tempted Eve, all exquisitely, minutely rendered. Also not to be missed are the German Kleinmeister, or Little Masters—followers of Albrecht Dürer who executed diminutive gems with uncommon charm, playfulness, and technical refinement, as exemplified by this Italianate nude. Come enter this world of tiny treasures, and little by little they will take your breath away.