Cherubino Alberti, Several Demons, 1575, after Michelangelo, engraving, image: 31.1 x 20.9, sheet: 32.5 x 21.5cm, reg. no. 1959.2147, gift of Dr J. Orde Poynton, 1959, Baillieu Library Print Collection, University of Melbourne

Prints from the Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

Radicals, slayers and villains shows controversial figures from history that have challenged the status-quo and helped shape our world. The striking imagery of these works is captured by seminal artists including Dürer, Goya and Rembrandt. The artists in the exhibition have been instrumental in the development of Western art and the universal theme of the individual and his or her role in society is illustrated through these extraordinarily powerful works. The exhibition has wide appeal through its representation of themes, such as the place and role of the individual in society, the depiction of the human figure, the impact of violence, and death. The often violent imagery depicted in the ‘slayers’ component of the exhibition presented great appeal to artists working from the Renaissance onwards, and inherent in these images is their capacity to shock and inspire awe in contemporary audiences with their lethal armoury of brutal and savage capabilities. The depiction of the human figure is equally arresting in the group of works categorised as ‘villains’, which shows supernatural skeletons bringing death, hybrid fiends, demons, criminals and evil animals all conspiring to throw our existence into turmoil.

Radicals, slayers and villains was originally displayed in the Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne from 31 March - 17 August 2014. The exhibition will next travel to the following locations:


Watch the trailer

View the image gallery

Exhibition Publications

Exhibition publication

Radicals, slayers and villains

Thirty contributors, who have been enthralled by the Baillieu Library Print Collection, have penned 60 entries on the works of art on display. Authors range from academics, professionals and students who examine the individuals and themes represented in these extraordinarily powerful woodcuts, etchings and engravings. The book is available at the Co-op bookshop.

Exhibition publication

Radicals, Slayers and Villains
iBook for Kids

An interactive iBook to accompany the exhibition is available for iPad.