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The Plains of Mars: European War Prints, 1500-1825

September 4, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Over fifty original prints by renowned artists from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth century, including Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach, Théodore Géricault, and Francisco de Goya, among many others, are featured in The Plains of Mars: European War Prints, 1500-1825.  On loan from the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the works of art included in this exhibition examine the topics of war and peace, propaganda, heroism, brutal conflicts, and the harrowing aftermath of battle.  Spanning from the Renaissance to the Romantic periods and encompassing a wide geographic scope including Italy, Germany, France, Spain, the Low Countries, England, and North America, the prints depict triumphant Renaissance soldiers, devastating scenes of violence, and satirical caricatures of political figures.  Also on display is Goya’s compelling “Disasters of War” series, completed in response to the brutality of the Spanish War of Independence. Goya’s prints serve as a powerful testament to the horrors faced by both soldiers and civilians.

Under the direction of Professor Felicia Else and Shannon Egan, Melissa Casale ‘19 and Bailey Harper ‘19 have researched and written didactic labels, catalogue essays, and created an interactive digital interface to complement the exhibition. Together, Melissa and Bailey will lead public tours of the exhibition. A Gallery Talk by Prof. Peter Carmichael will draw connections between the depictions of warfare on view in the Gallery with representations of the American Civil War.  James Clifton, Director of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will be delivering a lecture in conjunction with the exhibition.  Dr. Clifton, who also serves as curator of Renaissance and Baroque painting at MFAH, curated the exhibition in its first iteration and wrote the exhibition catalogue (published by Yale University Press). Dr. Clifton’s lecture not only will provide an overview of the exhibition, but also will focus on the concept of “mediated war.”

A full-color catalogue with images and essays by Bailey Harper ’19 and Melissa Casale ’19, under the supervision of Profs. Felicia Else and Shannon Egan, accompanies the exhibition.

September 4 – December 7, 2018

Opening Reception: 

September 4, 5-7 pm


Tours by Bailey Harper ’19 and  Melissa Casale ’19: 

September 6, noon


Lecture by James Clifton, Director of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: 

October 16, 5 pm, Lyceum,

Pennsylvania Hall


Gallery Talk by Peter Carmichael, Director of the Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College: 

October 25, noon

image, Albrecht Dürer, The Standard Bearer, c. 1502, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston (image right)


September 4, 2018
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College
300 N Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325 United States