Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Print

Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (drawn)

  • Date:

    2008 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Desmet, Anne Julie, born 1964 (woodcutter)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    drawing on laid paper

  • Museum number:

    E.178:2-2010

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case V, shelf 28

The invention of printing allowed books and images to become household objects. Both could be reproduced quickly and in large numbers, whereas before this revolutionary technology they could only be drawn, painted or written by hand.

The use of woodblocks to print text had been known in the East since the 8th century. In Europe the technique was first applied to textiles, but shortly after 1400 it was adopted also for images.

Soon, texts too were reproduced by various methods of printing. The final breakthrough came in the 1450s, when Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz produced a Bible using a new method based on moveable type, with individual metal letters and characters.

The artist Anne Desmet was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum to produce a facsimile woodblock, copied from a French sixteenth century sheet of uncut playing cards in the collection by Gilles Savoure and make prints from the block. The whole process was filmed and can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum's Medieval and Renaissance Galleries.

Physical description

Drawing in red chalk on laid paper

Place of Origin

London (drawn)

Date

2008 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Desmet, Anne Julie, born 1964 (woodcutter)

Materials and Techniques

drawing on laid paper

Dimensions

Height: 13.1 cm, Width: 13.9 cm

Object history note

In 2006 the printmaker Anne Desmet was commissioned by the V&A's Medieval and Renaissance Gallery team to produce a facsimile woodblock copied from a French sixteenth century sheet of uncut playing cards by Gilles Savouré (E.988-1920) held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and make prints from the block. The whole process was filmed for a 'How Was it Made' video which can now be seen in the V&A Medieval and Renaissance Galleries.

Descriptive line

Transfer drawing with red chalk on the reverse for a facsimile woodblock of an uncut sheet of 16th century playing cards by Gilles Savouré in the V&A collection, made by Anne Desmet, 2008

Materials

Laid paper; Ink

Techniques

Drawing

Categories

Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.