Ugo da Carpi, (Italy)
Purchase: SOTA Print Fund, 1982.
1527The Renaissance Connection
Note how the artist Ugo da Capri has carefully arranged several books in the foreground of the woodcut Diogenes. Although images of the Bible appeared in art works prior
to the Renaissance, it was only after the invention of the moveable type printing press by Gutenberg (1455) that artists began to acknowledge the influence ancient writings
and ideas were having on the world in which they we now living. Here da Capri includes several books to remind the viewer of the importance ancient Greek stories and
Diogenes, the central figure, was a Greek thinker (412 - 323 B.C.).
The invention of the moveable type printing press did more than any other innovation to spread the ideas of the Renaissance. Gutenberg's invention led to acceleration of printed
materials making books widely available for the first time. Mass communication by way the printed word was now possible. Between 1500 and 1600 an estimated 200 million
books were printed. This was a significant change from the Medieval period when Monks and priests made books were by hand, painstakingly copied and often beautifully
illustrated, or "illuminated" with small paintings. In 2002 over 665 million people around the world communicated using the internet with the United States
having the most users with nearly 143 million people online followed by China with approximately 56.6 million. (219 words)