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Virtue, Vice & the Senses: Prints 1540–1660

This exhibition is now in our archive.

This exhibition looks at the spread and development of prints representing abstract qualities such as the five senses, seven virtues and deadly sins. German and Netherlandish 16th century examples feature female figures accompanied by animals associated with the concept in question, or holding significant objects or attributes. At the turn of the 17th century printmakers in Holland, France and England became more inventive, moving away from traditional allegorical depictions to pairs of amorous couples, women in fashionable dress and elaborate domestic scenes.

A look at the development of prints representing abstract qualities such as the Five Senses, Seven Virtues and Deadly Sins.

Temporary Display details

Selected objects from the Temporary Display

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