John Baptist Jackson

John Baptist Jackson
18th-Century Master of the Color Woodcut

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John Baptist Jackson by Jacob Kainen

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1962

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John Baptist Jackson
18th-Century Master of the Color Woodcut

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Book Excerpt

impressive color woodcuts in the Western world between the 16th century and the last decade of the 19th.

But Jackson's grand ambition to advance the woodcut beyond all other graphic media had little public or private support and finally led him to ruin. His efforts were made with insufficient means and with few patrons. As a consequence, he rarely printed editions after the blocks were cut and proofed. The Venetian set is well known because it was printed in a substantial edition. A few additional subjects were also sponsored by patrons, but most of Jackson's other chiaroscuros were never published-- they were limited to a few proofs. Editions were postponed, no doubt, in the hope that a patron would come along to pay expenses in return for a formal dedication in Latin, but this did not often happen. Most subjects exist in a few copies only; of some, single impressions alone remain. Others have entirely disappeared.

With a large part of Jackson's work unknown, his reputation settled into an unea

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