printmaking


printmaking
/print"may'king/, n.
the art or technique of making prints, esp. as practiced in engraving, etching, drypoint, woodcut or serigraphy.
[1925-30; PRINT + MAKING]

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Art form consisting of the production of images, usually on paper but occasionally on fabric, parchment, plastic, or other support, by various techniques of multiplication, under the direct supervision of or by the hand of the artist.

Such fine prints are considered original works of art, even though they can exist in multiple copies. The major techniques are relief printing, where the background is cut away, leaving a raised image; intaglio printing, where the image is incised directly into the plate; surface printing such as lithography, where the image is painted or drawn onto a stone; and stencil printing, where the design is cut out and printed by spraying paint or ink through the stencil. The history of printmaking parallels the history of art and is one of the oldest art forms. Though he had several predecessors, the first important engraver was a 15th-century German, Martin Schongauer. In the 16th century Albrecht Dürer created prints of the highest quality, and in the 17th century the etchings of Rembrandt were especially fine. Japanese printmaking originated in the 17th century with the ukiyo-e school of woodcuts; the best-known artists were Hokusai and Hiroshige. Important 18th-century Western artists who made prints include William Hogarth, Francisco Goya, and Giambattista Piranesi. Among the works of 19th-century printmakers, those of Honoré Daumier and of many of the French Impressionists are notable. Experimentation in new styles and new directions proliferated in the 20th century, with artists from the century's major movements
all pursuing printmaking. See also engraving; etching; mezzotint; woodcut.

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Introduction

      an art form consisting of the production of images, usually on paper but occasionally on fabric, parchment, plastic, or other support, by various techniques of multiplication, under the direct supervision of or by the hand of the artist. Such fine prints, as they are known collectively, are considered original works of art, even though they can exist in multiples.

      To the modern reader, the word print might suggest mechanically mass-produced commercial products, such as books, newspapers, and textiles. In this article, however, the print refers to the original creation of an artist who, instead of the paintbrush or the chisel, has chosen printmaking tools to express himself.

      The fine print is a multiple original. Originality is generally associated with uniqueness, but a print is considered original because the artist from the outset intended to create an etching, woodcut, or other graphic work and thus conceived his image within the possibilities and limitations of that technique. Without doubt, early printmaking was strongly influenced by a desire for multiple prints. Artists quickly discovered, however, that when a drawing is translated into a woodcut or engraving it takes on totally new characteristics. Each technique has its own distinctive style, imposed by the tools, materials, and printing methods. The metamorphosis that takes place between drawing and print became the strongest attraction for the creative artist. It is important to understand that the artist does not select his printing method arbitrarily but chooses the one in which he can best express himself. Thus, any of the proofs printed from an original plate is considered an original work of art, and, although most fine prints are pulled in limited quantities, the number has no bearing on originality, only on commercial value.

      What is the difference between a reproduction and an original print? In the very early days of printmaking this was not a serious problem because the print was not looked upon as a precious art object, and prices were low. The question of originality became an issue only in the 18th century, and, in the 19th century, artists started to hand sign their prints. Since then, the signed print has been accepted by most people as the proof of its originality.

      With regard to the name with which he signed his works, the Japanese (arts, East Asian) artist followed a bewildering custom: he adopted and discarded names at will. If he admired another artist, he simply adopted his name. Thus, in the art history of Japan, it is common to find several unrelated artists bearing the same name and one artist bearing many names; during his long life, Hokusai, for example, used about 50 different names. In fact, a signature by itself means little or nothing. For instance, Pablo Picasso (Picasso, Pablo) issued many signed reproductions of his paintings; on the other hand, many of his original etchings have been published in split editions, some signed, some not. These unsigned etchings are original, while the signed reproductions are not. The crucial difference is that Picasso made the plate for the original print, while the signed reproduction was photomechanically produced.

      In 1960 the International Congress of Plastic Arts drafted a resolution intended to regulate contemporary prints. The crucial paragraph reads:

The above principles apply to graphic works which can be considered originals, that is to say to prints for which the artist made the original plate, cut the woodblock, worked on the stone or any other material. Works that do not fulfill these conditions must be considered “reproductions.”

      Although this is a straightforward statement, later developments have proved it to be highly controversial. Since the rise of the Pop and Op movements, a great number of photographically produced prints have been published and sold as signed originals. Because museum curators, art critics, and artists have not taken a firm stand on the question, any print that the artist declares to be original is now accepted as such, regardless of how it was made. Although the art world is divided on the solution, nearly everybody agrees that something should be done to clarify the situation. The state of New York, for example, has passed a law requiring complete disclosure by the dealer of how, and by whom, the print was made.

      Many artists believe that the answer lies in the giving of honest information. In the 17th and 18th centuries in the West, most prints carried all the relevant information on their margins. The name of the individual was followed by a Latin abbreviation indicating his role in the work. Common examples are del. (delineavit): “he drew it”; imp. (impressit): “he printed it”; and sculp. (sculpsit): “he engraved it.” This type of information, together with the total edition number, should be furnished by the artist or the dealer to the buyer. Clearly, it is impossible to make completely rigid rules to define originality. Probably the most realistic solution is to establish degrees of originality, based on the degree of the artist's participation in the various steps in the creation of the finished print.

      There may also be confusion about edition numbering. In contemporary printmaking, an original print in limited edition should carry information about the size of the total edition and the number of the print. A problem can arise because, in addition to the regular edition, there are “artist's proofs” or the French “H.C.” (hors de commerce) proofs. These are intended for the artist's personal use and should be no more than 10 percent of the edition; but, unfortunately, this practice is often abused. All of the prints pulled between working stages are called “trial proofs.” These can be of great interest because they reveal the artist's working process and of great value because the number of proofs is small.

      With prints of old masters in the West, originality is a very complex and difficult issue. These artists did not publish their prints in limited editions but printed as many as they could sell and without signing or numbering their works. There are arguments even between experts about the authenticity of many old prints. Important works of the masters are documented in catalogs and, although these must be revised from time to time, they furnish the only firm information available. After the edition is printed, the modern artist usually either destroys the plate or marks (“strikes”) it in a distinctive manner to guarantee that any reprint from the plate is identifiable.

      The 19th-century U.S. painter and etcher James McNeill Whistler (Whistler, James McNeill) was one of the first Western artists to hand sign his prints. Signing is now regulated by a convention. Upon completing the edition, the artist signs and numbers each print. Usually the signature is in the lower right corner; the edition number is on the left. Some artists put the title in the centre.

Major techniques of printmaking
      The techniques of printmaking are divided into three major processes: relief, intaglio, surface. The surface processes are subdivided into two categories: planographic (lithography) and stencil methods. The methods are often combined.

Relief processes
      In relief processes, the negative, or nonprinting part of the block or plate, is either cut or etched away, leaving the design standing in relief. Or, instead of cutting away the background, the relief print can be created by building up the printing surface. The relief is the positive image and represents the printing surface. The most familiar relief-printing materials are wood and linoleum, but many other materials can be used, such as aluminum, magnesium, and plastics. Any metal or plastic plate incised or worked in relief can be first inked in the depressions (intaglio inked) and then surface rolled, thus combining relief and intaglio processes.

      Relief printing lends itself particularly to a bold conception of design, expressed more in areas than lines. This varies, however, depending on the material used: metal allows more intricate detail than wood, for example.

      Woodcut, which appeared in the 8th century in the East and in the early 15th century in the West, is the earliest known relief-printing method. In this method, the design is first either painted directly onto the wood block or pasted on it. Then the surface of the wood is cut away around the design. For fine details and outlines the knife is used; larger areas are removed with gouges. The depth of the relief depends on the design: open areas must be cut deeper than the fine details so that the roller will not deposit ink in these areas. Although woodcuts are generally conceived in bold lines, or large areas, tonal variations can be achieved with textures, a variety of marks made with gouges, chisels, or knives. In contemporary woodcuts many other methods, such as scraping, scratching, and hammering, are also used to create interesting textures.

      Originally, woodcut was a facsimile process; i.e., the cutting was a reproduction of a finished design. With most contemporary woodcuts, however, the artist creates his design in the process of cutting.

      As wood is a natural material, its structure varies enormously and this exercises a strong influence on the cutting. Wood blocks are cut plankwise. The woods most often used are pear, rose, pine, apple, and beech. The old masters preferred fine-grained hardwoods because they allow finer detail work than softwoods, but modern printmakers value the coarse grain of softwoods and often incorporate it into the design.

      The printing of woodcuts is a relatively simple process because it does not require great pressure. Although presses are used, even hand rubbing with a wooden spoon can produce a good print. The ink used to print woodcuts must be fairly solid and sticky, so that it lies on the surface without flowing into the hollows. The printing ink can be deposited on the relief either with dabbers or with rollers. Japanese rice or mulberry papers are particularly suitable for woodcuts because they make rich prints without heavy pressure.

      The standard procedure for making a woodcut with two or more colours is to cut a separate block for each colour. If the colour areas are distinctly separated and the block is large, one block can be used for more than one colour. All blocks must be the same size to assure that in the finished print the colours will appear in their proper relation to one another, that is, properly registered.

      The first, the key block, is generally the one that contains most of the structural or descriptive elements of the design, thus serving as a guide for the disposition of the other colours. After the key block is finished and printed, the print is transferred to the second block. This procedure is repeated until all of the blocks are finished.

      The registering system depends on the method of printing used. On a press the registering presents no problem: the wood block is locked into position and the uniformly cut paper is automatically fed into the proper position by the press. For hand rubbing, several registering methods can be used. One method uses a mitred corner nailed to a table or special board. A sheet of paper is attached to one side of this corner, after which the wood block is placed securely in position and the print is made. Once the first colour has been printed, the paper is folded back and the first block is replaced with the second, and so on.

      In woodcut colour printing, the artist must consider whether he can print wet on wet or whether the print should dry before it is overprinted. Usually a second colour can be printed immediately but, if the ink deposit is heavy, the print will have to dry before additional colours can be printed. This problem arises mainly with oil colours, which dry more slowly than water-base colours. When using oil paints, the artist has to understand how variations in viscosity affect the overprinting of colours.

      Movable small blocks have also come to be used by a number of printmakers. These involve some planning in order to print them in register with the large blocks. The easiest way is to put a light cardboard that is exactly the size of the main block (the key block) in position. Once the small blocks are registered, their location can be marked on the cardboard. Then the small blocks can be glued down to the cardboard in order to avoid the danger of shifting.

      The conception and technique of the Japanese (arts, East Asian) colour woodcut was totally different from that of the European woodcut. Except for chiaroscuro prints, no real colour woodcut existed in Europe before the 19th century. In the West, the woodcut was primarily a reproductive facsimile process: usually, the artist made a completed drawing that was copied by the cutter. The Japanese print, on the other hand, was the result of intricate, perfectly coordinated effort by the designing artist, the cutter, and the printer. Instead of painting a complete picture to be copied, the artist furnished a separate drawing for each colour. The engraver or cutter pasted each drawing on a wood block and cut away the white (negative) part. In this process the drawing was destroyed. Printing started only after all of the blocks had been cut. As the Japanese used water-base colours, often blending tones, printing itself was a very delicate and crucial operation, requiring perfect coordination and speed. Only after the completion of this process could the artist see the total image.

      Wood engraving is a variation of woodcut. The main difference is that, for wood engraving, the block—usually pear, apple, cherry, sycamore, or beech—is cut cross-grained rather than plankwise; on the end-grain block the artist can thus cut freely in any direction, allowing him to do much more intricate work with much finer tools. The image is created by fine white lines and textures. On most wood engravings, the whites appear as the positive image against a dominant black. The blocks are usually cut at the same height as printing type so that they can be printed on a press. Invented in the 18th century, wood engraving was primarily used by illustrators.

Linoleum cut (linocut)
      Since linoleum is easy to cut and does not have a grain, the linoleum cut often is used to introduce children to printmaking. The process was held in low esteem until, in the 1950s, Pablo Picasso made a series of brilliant colour linoleum cuts.

      The printing of linoleum cuts is similar to the printing of woodcuts or wood engravings. They can be printed by hand rubbing or, properly mounted, can be printed on a press. The colour printing process follows the woodcut principles.

      At times artists have used soft metals, such as lead or zinc, to make prints that are similar to woodcuts or wood engravings. In the 19th century, lead cuts were often used for newspaper illustrations. The distinguished Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada (Posada, José Guadalupe), for example, used lead frequently for his prints. Lead was used primarily because it was inexpensive and easy to work. Because metal cuts were printed like woodcuts or wood engravings, it is often difficult to tell from the print which material was used.

      Elementary school children are often introduced to printmaking by making cardboard cuts, and sophisticated artists use the same material to print complex abstract images. Cardboard and paper are not only inexpensive, readily available, and workable with simple tools but, when properly prepared, have also proved to be remarkably durable. Cardboard cuts can be made either by building up or cutting out. In the first process, cutout pieces are glued to a support. When the plate is finished, it is coated with a plastic varnish to make sure the surface is tough and nonabsorbent. In the cutting-out method a heavy laminated cardboard is used, and the cutout sections are simply peeled off to the desired depth. When finished, the cut is varnished. The printing of cardboard plates follows the same principle as woodcuts or linoleum cuts.

Relief etching
      When large areas of a metal plate are etched out (see below Etching (printmaking)), leaving the design in relief to be surface printed, the process is generally called relief etching. Usually the method is used for areas, but it can be also used for lines. The English artist and poet William Blake (Blake, William) was the first printmaker to experiment extensively with relief etching. He devised a method of transferring his handwritten poems, together with the illustrations, onto the metal plate to be etched.

      In contemporary printmaking, relief etching is used extensively for colour printing. The different levels of the plate can be inked with different colours. Relief etching is also a popular method of making inkless intaglio prints (shallow bas-reliefs on paper).

      Simply by placing a fine paper over an incised or carved surface and rubbing the paper with heelball (wax and carbon black) or daubing it with special ink, an artist can use practically any surface for printing—including, as in Japan, the body of a fish. Rubbings were probably the earliest prints made by man. In India rubbings were made of tombstones and temple bas-reliefs, and in China rubbings were used to reproduce calligraphy as early as the 2nd century AD. In addition to fish rubbings, the Japanese made rubbings of metal ornaments.

      Today many museums sell rubbings of bas-reliefs in their collections. In the United States rubbings often are made of colonial and early 19th-century gravestones, and in Europe they are applied to brass plaques mounted in stone slabs.

Dotted print (criblé)
      A traditional technique of the goldsmith long before engraving for printing purposes was developed, criblé was also used to make the earliest metal prints on paper. Criblé was a method of dotting the plate with a hand punch; with punch and hammer; with a serrated, flatheaded tool called a matting punch; with various gouges; or, sometimes, with a hollow, circular-headed ring-punch. Criblé plates were relief printed like woodcuts. On most dotted prints, a black background dominates a fine lacelike design.

intaglio processes
      Intaglio printing is the opposite of relief printing, in that the printing is done from ink that is below the surface of the plate. The design is cut, scratched, or etched into the printing surface or plate, which can be copper, zinc, aluminum, magnesium, plastic, or even coated paper. The printing ink is rubbed into the incisions or grooves, and the surface is wiped clean. Unlike surface printing, intaglio printing—which is actually a process of embossing the paper into the incised lines—requires enormous pressure. The major working methods for intaglio printing are engraving, etching, drypoint, and mezzotint. Intaglio processes are probably the most versatile of the printmaking methods, as various techniques can produce a wide range of effects, from the most delicate to the boldest. The intaglio print also produces the richest printed surface, as it is three-dimensional.

      In engraving, the design is cut into metal with a graver or burin. The burin is a steel rod with a square or lozenge-shaped section and a slightly bent shank. The cutting is accomplished by pushing the burin into the metal plate. The deeper it penetrates into the metal, the wider the line; variations in depth create the swellingtapering character of the engraved line. After the engraving is finished, the slight burr raised by the graver is cleaned off with a scraper. The engraved line is so sharp and clean that it asserts itself even if cut over a densely etched area. In the print, the engraved line is notable for its precision and intensity. In engraving, the hand does not move freely in any direction but pushes the graver forward in a line; a change of direction is achieved by the manipulation of the plate with the other hand. Although copper, zinc, aluminum, and magnesium plates are used—and in the past soft iron and even steel were used—the best all-around metal is copper. It has the most consistent structure and is neither too soft nor too hard.

      Next to engraving, the drypoint is the most direct of the intaglio techniques. In printing, however, it represents the opposite end of the spectrum. Engraving is precise; drypoint is rugged, warm, and irregular.

      Drypoint is made by scratching lines into metal plates with steel- or diamond-point needles. In this method the penetration into the plate is negligible; it is the metal burr raised by the point that holds the ink. Because the burr is irregular, it prints as a soft, velvety line. The angle of the needle has much more effect on the width of the line than the pressure does. If the needle is perpendicular to the plate, it throws burr on both sides, which then produces a thin double line; for wide lines the optimum angle is 60 degrees. Many artists use an electric graver to make drypoints. The oscillating point of the tool punches little craters into the plate. Because the line consists of thousands of these small craters, it is richer than the conventional scratched line made by the needle and stands up better to printing.

      Copper plate is the best for drypoint. The plates are fragile because the burrs are easily flattened down by the printing pressure. Even a too vigorous wiping can damage a plate. Thus, unless the artist is satisfied with a very limited number of proofs (three or four), the plate must be faced with steel, a process in which steel is deposited by electrolytic means on the copper plate. This coating is very thin and, if it is properly done, the burrs are hardened without affecting printing quality. Zinc and aluminum, however, cannot be steel-faced.

      In mezzotint the metal plate is roughened with fine burrs until it prints a rich, velvety black. The plate is then worked back toward the lighter values with scrapers and burnishers. For this reason, mezzotint is also called manière noire, or the “black manner.”

      Mezzotint flourished throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and was primarily used for portraits or to reproduce paintings. None of the important printmakers of the past used the technique. After the invention of photoengraving, the technique of mezzotint was nearly forgotten, but a few printmakers have started to work again with this exotic medium.

      The first step in preparing a mezzotint plate is to rough up the whole plate surface as evenly as possible. The tool used is the rocker, a blade with a curved serrated edge. The rougher the rocker, the heavier is the burr. The rocker is held with its cutting edge at a right angle to the plate, and the curved edge is rocked systematically over the entire surface. If this is properly done, the entire plate is covered with uniform burrs. Then the work with scrapers and burnishers begins. Where lighter tones are desired, the burr is gradually removed, and in the white areas the plate is burnished back to its original finish.

      As with drypoint, mezzotint plates must be steel faced if a large edition is desired. The printing of mezzotints differs slightly from the printing of etchings or engravings. Since the layer of burr on the mezzotint acts as a blotting paper, the ink must be selected with this fact in mind. The inking and wiping must be done gently with soft rags. Printing pressure should be considerably less than that used for engravings or deeply etched plates.

Crayon manner and stipple engraving
      Invented in the 18th century, crayon manner was purely a reproduction technique; its aim was the imitation of chalk drawings. The process started with a plate covered with hard ground (see below Etching (printmaking)). The design was created using a great variety of etching needles (some of them multiple). After the design was etched in, the ground was removed and the design further developed with various tools. Fine corrections and tonal modifications were made with scrapers and burnishers. Finally, engraving was used for additional strengthening of the design. Pastel manner is essentially the same as the crayon manner except that it is usually used to imitate pastel drawings.

      Stipple engraving, also a reproduction method, is closely related to the crayon manner. The exact date of its invention is not known, but it is reasonably certain that it came after the crayon manner. The first step in stipple engraving was to etch in the outlines of the design with fine dots made either with needles or with a roulette, a small wheel with points. The tonal areas were then gradually developed with tiny flick dots made with the curved stipple graver. For very fine tonal gradations, roulettes were also used. The only artist of any importance to use pure stipple engraving was Giulio Campagnola (Campagnola, Giulio) in the 16th century.

      Etching is a process in which lines or textures are bitten (etched) into a metal plate with a variety of mordants (acids). The metal plate is first covered with an acid-resistant coating (ground). The design is then scratched or pressed into the ground, exposing the metal in these areas. Finally, the plate is submerged in an acid solution until the desired depth and width in the exposed areas is reached.

      Although the basic principle of etching is very simple, there are many possible variations that have a strong influence on the final result. The materials themselves offer a wide range of possible variations: for example, copper, zinc, aluminum, or magnesium plates can be used; and nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, or ferric chloride can be used for the etching process. Other variations include the strength of the mordants, the biting time, the kinds of grounds and the ways in which they can be worked, and, finally, all the possible methods of printing.

      Although all of these matters seem purely technical, every tool or material that is used, every step that is followed, is an integral part of the creative process. The biting action of the acid is just as much part of the drawing as is the incising into the ground. The selection of the paper or the method of wiping the plate can completely change the nature of a print.

Hard-ground etching
      Any acid-resistant coating used to make an etching is called a ground. In the past a great variety of different grounds were used, and each master had his own formula. Most of them had wax as a basis, combined with various oils and varnishes. Today, the most commonly used ground consists of two parts Egyptian asphaltum, two parts beeswax, and one part resin. These ingredients are either dissolved and mixed or fused by heat. Ground comes in either lump or liquid form.

      The plate is cleaned before the ground is applied because grease or dirt can affect the ground's adhesion, making it peel or crack. If ground in solid form is used, it is melted on low heat and rolled out evenly. Liquid ground is brushed on the plate, and then the ground is heated to make it more even and to evaporate the solvents. In both cases, after the plate cools, the ground should be solid rather than sticky.

      Normally, a good ground is dark enough to offer sufficient contrast with the plate to see the work. If, however, a black ground is desired, it can be achieved by darkening the ground with the smoke of a candle.

      In etching the ground, any number of tools and instruments may be employed. The old masters were restricted, but the contemporary printmaker uses a whole arsenal, including electrical drills and gravers. The line produced by the etching needle is threadlike and uniform in thickness. The exception is a line made by the tool called échoppe, developed by Jacques Callot, which may be used to imitate the engraved line. Other instruments are used to introduce a great variety of marks. The character of the etching is further influenced by the choice of the metal and the type of acid used. For controlled, regular bite, it is common to use Dutch mordant (nine parts of water saturated with potassium chlorate to one part of hydrochloric acid) on copper. For a rugged, irregular bite, nitric acid (one part to nine parts of water) is used on zinc. A plate can be etched in stages by covering some of the already etched areas with stop-out varnish (rosin dissolved in alcohol), which resists the acid, and then etching the rest for a longer period. This procedure can be repeated many times. Most artists develop their plates by repeated bites. After the etching is finished, the ground is removed with solvent (such as kerosene or benzene), and the plate is printed.

      The first print is a state, or trial, proof. If further work is desired, the plate is cleaned and covered again with ground, the previous work remaining visible through the new ground. The whole process is repeated as many times as is necessary.

Soft-ground etching
      Soft-ground etching is basically the same as hard-ground etching except that the ground contains about one-third grease, which keeps it in a semihard, or tacky, condition.

      Initially, in the 19th century, soft ground was used primarily for offset drawings. The artist placed a paper on the grounded plate and made his drawing on the paper with a sharp pencil or other drawing instrument. Under the pressure, the paper picked up the ground and produced a soft granular line. Then the plate was etched normally with a fairly weak acid.

      Soft ground has come to be used more often to etch various textures into the plate. Textured materials are placed on the soft ground and the plate run through the press. A thin, even ground picks up the finest textures. The design is controlled by applying a stop-out varnish to areas that should not be etched. The remaining textures are etched into the metal in the same way as in conventional hard-ground etching. This technique lends itself well to collage-type effects on the plate.

Relief etching
      To make a relief etching, the areas not to be removed by acid are protected with liquid ground or varnish. The varnish used has to be tough (asphaltum, or ground) because the relief bite takes a long time, and when large areas are bitten, the plate has a tendency to heat up. If various levels are desired, relief etching can be done in stages, as in regular etching.

      Aquatint is a process used to etch tonal areas on the plate. The first step is to give the plate a porous ground by dusting it with rosin powder and fusing the powder to the plate by means of heat. When the plate is etched, the acid goes through the pores in the ground and bites tiny cavities in the metal. These cavities hold the ink. A variety of tones and textures can be created, depending on the density, width, and depth of the cavities.

      The aquatint method was invented in the 18th century, and, although a great number of pure aquatint plates were done, the technique was mainly used with line etching. Theoretically, there is no limit to the range of tones that can be etched with aquatint.

      For the aquatint process, the plate is cleaned, as in hard-ground etching, and then dusted with rosin. Care in this step is crucial, as an incorrectly distributed rosin ground will produce uneven, spotty tones. To achieve even tones, a fine-grain rosin is used. The quantity should cover about 50 percent of the surface, neither too thin nor too thick. The dusting can be done either with a dust box or with dust bags.

      The dust box is a completely enclosed container with a sliding tray (usually made of steel mesh) that holds the plate in position above the dust tray, which is filled with fine rosin dust. After the plate is placed in the box, the rosin dust is agitated either by a bellows, by an electric fan, or by shaking.

      Dusting bags are made of various materials; the finer the material, the finer the dust coming through. The dusting bags have the advantage of allowing the artist to visually control the amount of dust deposited and also to use different textures in different areas.

      After dusting, the plate is placed on the heating plate, and the rosin is fused to the metal. When the plate has cooled, the design is applied with a stop-out varnish. To achieve various tones the plate is bitten in stages, much as in hard-ground etching but with one important difference: aquatint is much more delicate, and the time element is more critical. A biting time of a few seconds can produce a fine gray, but a proportionately longer time is needed as the artist proceeds toward the darker tones.

      Plastic sprays are also used to make aquatints. These lacquers and enamels are sold in pressurized spray cans and are sufficiently acid resistant to use for moderately long bites. They are easy to control and simpler to use, but they must be used in spray booths or other wellventilated places.

Lift-ground etching (sugar-lift aquatint)
      In lift-ground etching, a positive image is etched on an aquatint plate by drawing with a water-soluble ground. In the conventional aquatint technique, the artist controls the image by stopping out negative areas with varnish, thus working around the positive image. But for lift-ground etching, he uses a viscous liquid (such as India ink, gamboge, or ordinary poster paint mixed with sugar syrup) to paint directly on the plate. After the painting is finished and dried, the whole surface is covered with thin, liquid hard ground. When dry, the plate is placed in lukewarm water that dissolves the painted design, lifting the ground and dislodging it from the places that had been painted, thus exposing the metal surface to be etched. Aquatinting can be handled two ways: either the whole plate can be aquatinted before painting with lift ground or it can be aquatinted after the design is lifted. Lift-ground etching is particularly well-suited to free, spontaneous, calligraphic designs.

Acids and the etching process
      The acid bite of the plate is a critical stage in the making of an etching. The printmaker must be familiar with the characteristics of the materials that are being used. On a zinc plate nitric acid is used. In the process of biting, this acid develops air bubbles over the bitten area. Under the bubbles the acid action is slower, and, therefore, if the bubbles are not constantly moved around by brushing, the etched line will be uneven. nitric acid also has a tendency to underbite, that is, to bite not only straight down but also sideways. For this reason, areas of dense texture must be watched very closely.

      Nitric acid also can be used on copper, but, except to bite out large areas, Dutch mordant is much better suited for this metal. The action of hydrochloric acid on copper is much more even and controlled than that of nitric acid. Thus, for a bold, rough bite, nitric acid on zinc is fine; but for delicate, controlled etching, Dutch mordant on copper is preferred.

Metal graphic
      This method was originated by Rolf Nesch (Nesch, Rolf), the German-Norwegian printmaker. In all the intaglio methods previously discussed, the artist's design was created by making incisions in the plate. Nesch's method is the reverse of this process: the design is built up like a montage, by cutting out metal shapes and soldering them on the plate surface. Instead of the etching needle and the graver, the tools are shears, wire cutters, and a soldering iron. These plates are in deep relief and thus produce a heavily embossed print. Often such plates are combined with conventionally etched or engraved sections. In addition to metal shapes, wood and plastics may be used. Because of the extremely high relief, the printing of the plates requires specially prepared presses. A few contemporary artists work in such a high relief that the ordinary etching press cannot print their work and standard printing papers cannot be used. In some cases the high relief is created by compressing paper pulp into molds with hydraulic presses.

      The use of embossing is not new. Some Japanese (arts, East Asian) woodcuts have sections that have been decorated with “goufrage” (blind pressing). In contemporary printmaking, embossing has become a major interest, and many artists are exploring the possibilities of the intaglio print by using shallow paper bas-reliefs to exploit the interplay of shadow and light.

Printing by intaglio processes
      The most important piece of equipment in intaglio printing is the etching press, a simple machine whose basic principle has not changed for centuries. Motorization and the use of pressure gauges are the only major improvements. The press consists of a solid steel plate, called the bed, that is driven between two rollers; a screw mechanism on both sides of the top roller adjusts the pressure. Large modern presses are motor driven.

      The print is made by placing the inked plate face up on the bed. Dampened paper is placed carefully on the plate and covered with several layers of pure wool printing felts. The bed is then driven through the rollers. The felts, which are squeezed between the metal rollers and the plate, push the paper into the crevices of the plate, forcing the paper into contact with the ink and thus transferring the image.

      A fairly heavy pure rag paper is normally used. It is soaked until its fibres are softened and then, before printing, it is blotted until no surface water is visible. For inking, the plate is placed on a heater and kept warm throughout the inking and wiping steps. Heat makes the ink looser and thus facilitates both of these processes. Wiping is the operation in which the ink is removed from the surface of the plate, while leaving it in the recesses. Usually a carefully folded starched cheesecloth (tarlatan) is used. When a clean, crisp print is desired, the plate is given a final wiping with the palm of the hand.

      Inks (ink) for intaglio printing are especially made for this purpose. The consistency of the ink must be such that it comes off the surface of the plate cleanly during the wiping operation, but at the same time it must have enough body to retain its relief on the paper. The printing ink must also have sufficient viscosity to stick to the damp printing paper to produce a clear and rich image.

      After the print is pulled, it is dried, either between blotters or taped to a large, stiff board. This choice depends on the size of the print and the type of paper used.

Intaglio colour printing
      The intaglio colour print is made with two or more intaglio plates successively overprinted on the same paper. Each plate represents one colour and its possible gradations. In principle, it is possible to take four plates—the three basic colours, yellow, red, and blue, plus black—and make a print that will have the full range of colours. If the colour areas are distinctly separated, more than one colour can be printed from one plate. This method involves an extremely meticulous inking and wiping process.

      One of the greatest problems with intaglio colour printing is registering the successive colours in their precise location. If the colours can be printed immediately, wet on wet, then it is relatively simple, but often this is not possible. If the first plate has high relief and is overprinted while wet, the second plate will crush it completely. In this case the first print must be thoroughly dried and then rewetted for the second printing. Because the paper shrinks in the drying process, it is difficult to get it back to the original size when rewetted.

      Several methods of registering can be used, depending on the particular problem. For wet-on-wet printing the process is simple. After both plates are inked, the first plate is placed on the press bed and its position is marked. Paper is placed over the plate and secured at one end with masking tape, or, if there is enough margin, the paper is run through so that one end remains caught under the printing roller. The print is then folded back and the first plate is replaced with the second.

      Another method uses mats. The paper to be used in the edition is cut to the same size. A cardboard or metal mat is cut, corresponding to the size of the wet paper. The plate position is either cut out or marked on the mat. Registration consists of lining the paper up with the mat.

      The most precise registering is with pinholes. Two pinholes are punched in opposite corners of the mat. Corresponding pinholes are punched through all the printing papers. In printing, the paper is picked up with two heavy needles through the punched holes. The needles are then inserted in the corresponding holes on the mat and the paper is released. The holes should be placed close to an edge that will be trimmed after the print is dry.

Stencilled colours with an intaglio plate
      Stencilling (stenciling) is one of the simplest ways to use a number of colours combined with an intaglio plate. This method has advantages and also limitations. The main advantage is that it eliminates the registering problems of intaglio colour printing. On the other hand, it is limited to flat, sharply defined colour areas. One method does not replace the other, but each may be used to solve a particular problem.

      The procedure itself is very simple. The intaglio plate is inked and wiped normally. The desired colour shape is cut out on a stencil paper. The stencil is placed on the already inked plate and the colour is rolled onto the surface of the plate using a gelatin or soft rubber roller. For surface rolling, regular artist oil colours can be used. The use of stencils allows a great number of colours to be printed with a single run on the press. This is done by surface rolling colours through stencils onto the intaglio inked and wiped plate surface.

      For more complex colour combinations, it is possible to combine colours stencilled directly on the paper with colours offset from the intaglio plate. For more sophisticated stencilling, silk screen can be used also in combination with the intaglio plate. When intaglio and stencilling are combined, the process is often designated as mixed or combined technique. This is essentially the same procedure as conventional stencilling except that with silk screen more complex designs and textures can also be stencilled on the plate (see below Stencil processes (printmaking)).

Intaglio and surface colour with relief etching
      In this technique the main colour structure is defined by the plate surface, which is etched to different levels. The linear or textural elements moving from one level to another bind the whole together.

      The sequence of printing begins with the intaglio inking and wiping of the plate. Next, the first surface colour is rolled on with a soft gelatin roller that penetrates the lower levels of the relief. The high areas are inked with a hard rubber or composition roller. The sequence of rolling can change, according to the demands of the particular colour problem.

      In addition to plate levels and roller variety, control of colour viscosity is an important factor. The thorough description of this method is so complex that the reader is referred to some of the technical books listed in the Bibliography.

Surface-printing processes
      Surface printing comprises those techniques in which the image is printed from the flat surface of the metal, stone, or other material. The major surface method is lithography, a planographic process. Although many experts place silk screen and stencilling in a separate category, they can be considered surface-printing processes. In lithography, the control of the design is achieved by the chemical treatments of the drawing surface. In stencilling, the design is created by holes in the stencil and the printing ink is either rolled or squeezed through the stencil onto the paper. Silk screen is a special form of stencilling.

      Lithography is based on the fact that water and grease do not mix. The image is drawn or painted on the stone or metal plate with greasy litho crayon or a greasy black ink (tusche). Once the drawing is finished, it is fixed with an etch to prevent the spreading of the grease. A heavy, syrupy mixture of gum arabic and a small quantity of nitric acid, the etch is used to protect the drawing from water and to further desensitize the undrawn areas to printing ink. The nitric acid opens the pores of the stone, enabling the gum and the grease to enter easily. The gum arabic surrounds the greasy sections, forming an insoluble surface film that sticks to the negative areas and crevices of the grain. This coating around the image repels the water applied during printing and establishes a grease reservoir. It does not smear, and it prevents seepage that would blur the image.

      Because of the antipathy of grease and water, the image attracts oily ink but repels water. Thus, when the stone is dampened with a sponge and an ink-charged roller is passed over it, the ink is deposited on the greasy drawing but not on the wet stone.

      In lithography, the assumption is that the drawing made on the stone or plate will be closely duplicated on the print. While intaglio processes yield prints unlike any drawing technique, lithography is quite reproductive. Although it is a complex method, if lithography is well done, the effect of the print is deceptively simple and direct, making the technique attractive to artists who wish to avoid the more idiosyncratic printmaking methods.

      A highly skilled technician is needed to produce a good lithograph, and most lithography is done in workshops where well-trained workers are available. The artist usually works on the stone or plate under the guidance of master printers. When the artist finishes a drawing, the master printers etch the stone and do the printing. In the basic technique, the first step is the preparation of the stone or plate. If a stone has been used before, its surface must be reground. The stone is placed in a sink and thoroughly wetted, and carborundum powder is sprinkled over it. Then, either with a levigator (a heavy steel disk with a handle) or by rubbing two stones together, the surface is thoroughly reground. From time to time the surface should be tested with a steel straightedge to make sure it is level; otherwise it will print unevenly. After the stone has dried, it is ready for work. It is very important to keep the stone clean because any dirt, particularly grease, will show up on the print. Smudges and dirt can be cleaned off with erasers and abrasives.

      Metal plates (zinc or aluminum) can also be used, and these, too, may be reground. Although metal plates are satisfactory, stone is far superior, particularly for producing subtle tones and details.

      With litho crayons and tusches the artist can work on the stone as he would on paper. A whole arsenal of effects is available, including pen, pencil, splashing, sprinkling, spraying, texture transfers, and scraping. After the drawing is finished and before etching, the image must be protected from the etching solution by rubbing rosin and then talcum powder on the stone. The acid-resistant rosin protects the drawing; the talcum absorbs the excess grease, allowing the adhesion of the gum etch to the edges of the drawing.

      Next, the whole surface of the stone is coated with undiluted gum arabic, applied with a wide, soft brush. The subsequent etching process is done in stages. The weakest acid solution is usually brushed first on the lightest areas of the drawing. After an appropriate interval, the next strength solution is brushed on, and this continues until the strongest etch has coated the darkest areas.

      After the allotted time has elapsed, the excess etch solution is blotted with newsprint paper. The surface is then wiped down and buffed with cheesecloth to a smooth, even layer. When properly handled, the stone should appear dry. It should be allowed to stand for two hours before washing out, the next step.

      The washout is done by pouring a small amount of turpentine or Lithotine over the drawn areas. Gently rubbing the drawn areas with a clean dry rag removes the drawing through the gum-etch coating. The image is preserved by the absorbed grease in the porous limestone.

      Next, the stone is rubbed with liquid asphaltum or printing ink dissolved in turpentine. This procedure saturates the image and protects it at the same time.

      After the stone is dry, it is ready to be inked (rolled up). First, it is dampened with a wet sponge. (In between the rollings, the stone should be redampened.) Ink rolling should be carried out according to a set pattern, gradually building up the image. To facilitate the even distribution of ink it is important to use a roller wider than the image.

      The lithographic press (printing press) prints with scraping pressure. The press itself consists of a metal frame that accommodates a travelling steel plate (the bed), which passes with the stone under a scraping bar (or yoke). The bed can be lowered (to position the stone) and raised (to print). The pressure on the scraping bar can be adjusted.

      Lithographs can be printed on either dry or damp paper. The advantage of dampening is that it is possible to use less ink and less pressure, thus minimizing the risk of clogging the image.

      To print, the printing paper is first placed on the stone, followed by a newsprint paper, and then a blotter. Last comes the tympan, a sheet of smooth, tough material that can withstand great pressure without stretching. After the bed is raised to printing position, grease is spread evenly in front of the scraping bar on the tympan to allow it to slide easily. Then the print is made.

      The prints of the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de) demonstrate that lithography offers endless possibilities in colour printing (see ). Because the effect of lithography is much more painterly than either woodcut or intaglio printing, it is natural that the strong preoccupation with pure colour in contemporary art has created a revival of interest in this medium. The planning and the principle of colour separation are similar to those for the colour woodcut or intaglio colour.

Stencil processes
      In stencilling (stenciling), one of the simplest methods of duplication, the design is cut out of paper (or any other suitable thin, strong material) and is then printed by rubbing, rolling, or spraying paint through the cutout areas.

      Silk screen is a sophisticated stencil process, developed about 1900 and first used mainly for advertising and display work. About 1950, fine artists started to use the process extensively, giving it the name serigraphy.

      The silk-screen process got its name from the fine mesh silk that, when tacked to a wooden frame, serves as a support for a cut paper stencil. The stencil is glued to the silk. In the basic process, the open mesh of the silk lets the paint through, while the paper stencil blocks it out. A design can also be blocked out on the screen with glue or other suitable substance.

      A common method of stencil preparation is to cut the stencil with a knife. In this method the artist can use commercially produced screen process printing plates or conventional stencil papers. For fine, accurate work, process plates, which consist of a film on a backing, are preferred. Areas to be printed are cut out of the film and peeled off, leaving the rest of the film on the backing paper. After the plate is attached to the screen, the backing paper is removed; thus, the screen is covered with film except in the printing areas. Process plates are available in different colours to make registering easier, and they are attached to the screen either by heat or by the use of a special solvent.

      Another method that is quite common is the so-called tusche-and-glue method, which is similar to lift-ground aquatint etching. The design is painted on the screen with tusche and, when dry, the whole screen is covered with glue. When the glue dries, the design is washed out with either kerosene or turpentine. The tusche comes in liquid form for brushing or in solid crayon form. The use of the crayon results in screen prints that deceptively resemble lithographic prints.

      Stencil plates can also be made photographically. These plates are made by placing a photographic positive on a photosensitized gelatin stencil plate in a vacuum printing frame. Exposure to light hardens the gelatin under the transparent areas but leaves the gelatin soft under the dark areas. In warm water the soft areas wash out. The stencil is attached to the screen in the same manner as other stencils.

      To make a silk-screen print, the wooden frame holding the screen is hinged to a slightly larger wood board. The printing paper is placed on the board, under the screen. The consistency of the ink is important: it must be liquid enough to pass through the screen but not so liquid that it runs. The ink is pressed through the screen with the squeegee (a rubber blade, usually the same width as the screen, set in a wooden handle). Any number of colours can be used, a separate screen for each colour.

Special techniques
Monoprint ( monotype)
      A monoprint is a unique print. The artist paints on a surface such as metal, plastic, or glass and then transfers the wet design to paper, either by rubbing or with an etching press. The primary reason for making a monoprint is that, when the image is offset from the plate to the paper, the print achieves a separate quality and luminosity totally unlike a painting made directly on paper. In the 19th century, Edgar Degas (Degas, Edgar) did considerable experimentation with monoprints and produced a great number of superb ones. He often worked over the proofs with paint or pastel. There has been a strong revival of interest in this method.

      The method of printing known as cliché-verre was used by a few artists in the 19th century during the period when photography was a new and exciting invention. The cliché-verre method follows the principle of photography but does not have its tonal variations. The print was made by covering a piece of clear glass with an opaque pigment or emulsion; the design was then scratched through with a sharp etching needle or stylus. When the drawing was finished, the glass plate (negative) was placed on a photosensitized paper, exposed to light, and then developed. The result was a (positive) print with strong black-and-white contrasts. Some of the best cliché-verre prints were made by the French landscape painter Camille Corot.

The cellocut
      The cellocut method was named by its originator, U.S. printmaker Boris Margo, one of the first to experiment extensively with plastics.

      In this method, liquid plastic that has been dissolved in acetone is poured onto a rigid support backing, such as fibreboard or cardboard. The solidified plastic can be textured, raised into relief, and worked with various tools. It can be engraved, scratched, sanded, and filed. The resulting plastic plate can be printed either as a relief or as an intaglio plate, or even both. It can be printed alone or in combination with other techniques. Thin layers of plastics can easily be placed on top of intaglio plates and printed together.

Collagraphy
      Like the metal graphic process, collagraphy is an additive method; the printing surface is built up. It is essentially an intaglio method, but it can be combined with relief printing. The printing surface is created by gluing various materials and textures to a support. Today, with the variety of new material available, the possibilities are limitless.

      The support (plate) for collagraphy must be thin and strong. A porous material, such as cardboard, must be treated with a sealer. To build up a tough, durable printing surface, a strong adhesive such as polyvinyl acetate must be used.

      Among the materials that can be used for tonal areas are sawdust, sand, carborundum, sandpaper, and ground walnut shells. For specific textures, materials such as tarlatan, laces, and crushed paper can be glued into the adhesive.

      After the plate has been constructed, the surface is sealed. The sealer can be either brushed or sprayed on. Plastics are preferred because they are tough and are not dissolved by the solvents generally used to clean the plate.

      The printing of collagraphs is essentially the same as for intaglio printing.

Plaster print
      Good proofs of an intaglio plate can be made by plaster casting, for fine plaster of paris will pick up the most delicate details. This method will produce a particularly attractive proof if the plate has deeply etched or engraved sections.

      To make a plaster print, the plate is inked in the same manner as it would be for normal printing. The inked and wiped plate is placed face up on a glass plate, and a precut wood frame is placed around the plate to contain the plaster. After the plaster is poured, it is allowed to cool and set, after which the plate is gently removed.

Process prints
      Process-printing methods are primarily used for commercial reproduction. Today, however, many artists use commercial methods to produce fine art. Silk-screen printing itself began as a commercial process, and today it is one of the most popular techniques in printmaking because its character is well suited for hard-edge geometric images. Photomechanical processes are incorporated in the work of many contemporary printmakers.

      The linecut technique is the simplest and least expensive of all the photoreproductive processes. As it cannot register tone, it is used mostly to reproduce black-and-white line drawings. If tones are needed in a linecut, they are achieved with the use of screens consisting of dots (Ben Day screens). The linecut is similar to the woodcut in that both are used in relief printing.

      Linecuts are usually made on zinc plates coated with an emulsion of albumin or gelatin mixed with potassium bichromate. This emulsion hardens on exposure to light. The light passing through the transparent part of the negative hardens the emulsion. The areas of the emulsion that are protected by the black on the negative remain in their soluble state. The plate is then rolled with greasy ink and soaked in water. The unexposed soft emulsion is washed out by the water. The plate is then dried and dusted with powdered rosin, which adheres to the remaining inked emulsion areas. Heating causes the rosin to melt, forming an acid-resistant coating. The plate can then be etched so that the design stands up in high relief.

Halftone (halftone process) cut or plate
      Halftone is more sophisticated than linecut, since it is capable of reproducing fine tonal variations. The subject is photographed first through a glass plate that has fine lines printed on it at right angles. The result is an image broken up into tiny dots corresponding to the openings in the screen. When printed, these dots create the optical illusion of continuous tones. There are great variations in screens from coarse (50 lines per inch) to very fine (175 lines per inch). The selection of the screen is dictated by the paper to be used for printing.

      After the photonegative of the image is finished, it is printed on a sensitized copper plate. For halftone work, copper is used because of its ability to record fine details. The procedure of washout and etch is similar to that used with linecuts.

      To make a gravure plate, a screen is used that is the reverse of the halftone screen, in that the lines are transparent and the areas between the lines are opaque squares. When the sensitized plate is exposed to light through the screen, the emulsion on the plate hardens under the lines but leaves the squares soft. Then the plate is exposed again through a diapositive (a positive transparency) of the subject. This time the soft emulsion squares harden in proportion to the range of grays. In etching, the softest squares are affected by the acid first and the hardest ones last. The result, after the etch, is a plate covered with squares of equal size but varying depth. As the deep squares hold more ink than the shallow ones, the tones in the reproduction are controlled in the same manner as in all intaglio printing methods. The rotogravure plate is inked by an ink-carrying cylinder and wiped by a steel blade that removes all the excess ink from its surface.

      Although rotogravure is an intaglio printing process, it is printed on dry paper with light pressure and thin ink. Hence, there is hardly any embossing.

      Offset lithography is the application of lithography to commercial mass production. The plate, instead of being a stone, is of specially treated zinc or aluminum, suitable for mounting on a cylinder. The image is photographed on the sensitized lithoplate through a screen. The offset method involves double printing. The image from the plate is printed on another roller covered with a rubber blanket, and from this roller it is transferred to the paper. Because the image is reversed twice, the final print corresponds to the original plate. Since the litho offset ink is thin, to speed up inking and facilitate transfer, the tonal areas lose some of their richness and tend to print gray. Litho offset is often used for colour printing. The colour separation is made photographically.

Contemporary experimentation
      One of the most crucial changes in the 20th century involved the size of the print. All through its history, with few exceptions, the print was considered an intimate art form, enjoyed by the few. The change started with the Lautrec posters: the print started to grow until it became mural size. As the dimensions of the print changed, so did its character. It became increasingly bolder and more colourful. Today, the print often competes with painting, a situation deplored by many people who feel that in the process the print is losing its particular character and beauty. For a time, major print shows tended to exhibit only a limited number of small, delicate prints, but two more recent developments seem to be balancing that trend. One is the reappearance of the intimate, introspective, black-and-white print. The other is the revival of the long-neglected woodcut, due particularly to the interest of the Postmodernist artists in German Expressionism.

      Next to the size of the print, the greatest change has been in the technology of colour printing. In this area, techniques have become so varied that practically any effect is possible. This development has contributed to the vitality of printmaking, because it has encouraged the participation of colour-oriented artists. The combining of various media is closely related to the experimentation in colour printing. Each medium has its own capabilities and limitations; combined, the media often complement each other. It is now common to see three or four different techniques combined.

      Another area of experimentation is in three-dimensional surfaces. The trend started with embossing, and today artists are creating completely three-dimensional printed objects.

      The shaped print is a printed paper sculpture, made by cutting and folding the printed paper or by assembling precut printed surfaces. Many of these surfaces are metal or plastic objects with printing, usually done by the silk-screen process.

      Instead of using rectangular painting surfaces, many painters now work on shaped canvases. In the same way, printmakers, instead of using rectangular plates, are using many different shapes. Printing with movable plates, which became particularly popular in intaglio colour printing and with colour woodcuts, is the logical extension of this freedom. In this method small cutout plates are placed on top of larger plates and printed together, or they are assembled on a cardboard support and printed. This procedure facilitates the use of many colours and also offers great freedom in composing.

      Photography (photography, technology of) is profoundly affecting printmaking. Photographic methods can be combined with intaglio, lithography, or silk screen to enrich their vocabulary. The possibilities are nearly limitless. Yet photography can be corrupting when it reintroduces reproductive ideas, and, unfortunately, it is often used for this effect.

      Kinetic (moving) art, such as the mobile, is a major contemporary preoccupation in painting and sculpture. At present there are few attempts in this direction in printmaking, but there will probably be more. The problem in such works is how to combine the print with motion without destroying its very nature.

Mounting and care of prints
      Very few people know how to display prints and how to take care of them properly. It is heartbreaking to see a great master's print glued to a cheap cardboard or the border of a fine print ruined with tape.

      Because paper, particularly old paper, is fragile, it should be handled as little as possible and never picked up with one hand since this might put too much stress on the paper and tear it. To protect it, a print should be mounted as soon as possible.

      The surface of the print, especially an intaglio print, is delicate, and rubbing might permanently injure it. Prints should not be stacked without protective layers of tissue paper between them. Wood-pulp papers should not be used, as the acid content in these can burn the print. A print should not be exposed to intense sunlight; this is true particularly of colour prints, for very few colours are stable enough to withstand long exposure to direct sun. Light can also affect the paper. Because wood-pulp board contains chemicals that in time can burn or discolour the paper, a permanent mat should be constructed out of pure rag board. A properly constructed mat consists of two parts: the backing board to support the print and the covering frame to display it. The width of the mat frame should be related to the print's dimensions so that the mat does not overpower the image. The window size of the mat should never obscure the printed image itself, or the signature and edition number.

      Because temperature changes in a damp climate can cause condensation and the print can develop fungi, prints should be kept from direct contact with the glass. The simplest protection is a deep enough pure rag mat. If this is not sufficient, a filler should be inserted into the frame to increase the space between the mat and the glass.

      The backboard of the frame should be also rag board, or at least faced with rag paper, although the latter is not the perfect solution. The back of the frame should be sealed with tape to prevent the penetrating of dust. In damp climates it is advisable to keep the frame away from the wall by placing corks on its four corners. This facilitates the free circulation of air. Air-conditioning and humidity controls are the best protection.

History of printmaking
       engraving is one of the oldest art forms. Engraved designs have been found on prehistoric bones, stones, and cave walls. The technique of duplicating images goes back several thousand years to the Sumerians (Sumer) (c. 3000 BC), who engraved designs and cuneiform inscriptions on cylinder seals (usually made of stone), which, when rolled over soft clay tablets, left relief impressions. They conceived not only the idea of multiplication but also the mechanical principle, the roller, which in more sophisticated form became the printing press.

      On the basis of stone designs and seals found in China, there is speculation that the Chinese may have produced a primitive form of print—the rubbing—about the 2nd century AD. The first authenticated prints rubbed from wood blocks were Buddhist charms printed in Japan (arts, East Asian) and distributed between AD 764 and 770. It is believed that the first wood-block prints on textiles were made by the Egyptians in the 6th or 7th century; but the earliest printed image with an authenticated date is a scroll of the Diamond Sūtra (one of the discourses of the Buddha) printed by Wang Chieh in AD 868, which was found in a cave in eastern Turkestan.

      In Europe, stamping (to imprint royal seals and signatures) preceded printing by rubbing or with a press. The earliest documented impressed royal signature is that of Henry VI of England, dated 1436.

       textile printing, however, was known in Europe in the 6th century, the designs consisting largely of repeated decorative patterns. Printing on paper developed from textile printing, following the introduction of paper from the Orient. The first European paper was made in 1151, at Xativa (modern Játiva), Spain. Soon afterward paper manufacturing began in France and then in Germany and Italy, notably by Fabriano, whose enterprise was established in 1276.

      The first woodcuts (woodcut) on paper, printed in quantity, were playing cards (playing card). The term Kartenmahler or Kartenmacher (“painter or maker of playing cards,” respectively) appears on a German document dated 1402; and documents from both Italy and France from the middle of the 15th century mention wood blocks for the printing of playing cards. The earliest dated woodcut is a “Madonna with Four Virgin Saints in a Garden” from the year 1418.

      Many documents from the 15th century indicate that a clear distinction was made between the designer and the cutter of the wood blocks. From the outset, woodcut was primarily a facsimile process: the cutter copied a drawing provided by the designer.

      Printing from a metal engraving, introduced a few decades after the woodcut, had an independent development. The art of engraving and etching originated with goldsmiths and armour makers—men who were thoroughly professional craftsmen, practicing an art that had a long, respected tradition. Since the armour makers and goldsmiths were designers themselves, the whole process was controlled by the creative artist.

Printmaking in the 15th century
      Single prints (in contrast to those printed in a series or as part of an illustrated book) of the early 15th century were not signed or dated, and, because they were religious images carried by pilgrims from one place to another, it is nearly impossible to establish with certainty their place of origin. Their style alone must be relied upon for some indication of origin.

      The first phase of woodcut, from about 1402 until about 1425, was dominated by boldly designed single figures against a blank background. Most of the cuts were made to be hand coloured. In the second half of the 15th century the cuts became more complex: architectural and landscape elements came into use, and often the image was framed in an elaborate border.

      The first metal prints (criblé, or dotted, print) were made in the second half of the 15th century. The design was created by tiny dots punched into the metal and intermingled with short cuts. Surface printed, the whites are the positive part of the design, which is dominated by the dark background. Tiny holes in the borders indicate that most of these plates were intended as decorations to be mounted rather than as printing plates.

      The earliest dated intaglio-printed engraving is from 1446: “The Flagellation,” of a Passion series. Around this time, the first distinct personality to have great influence on German engraving appeared. He is known as the Master of the Playing Cards (Playing Cards, Master of the). His style was simple, nearly monumental; unlike the printwork of goldsmiths, his engravings lack ornamentation. For shading he used slightly diagonal parallel cuts. The Master of the Playing Cards heralds the beginning of a century of great printmakers in Germany. Another significant engraver, the Master of the Banderoles, was named after the ribbon scrolls characteristic of his prints, which are more decorative than those of the Master of the Playing Cards.

      In the second half of the 15th century, the outstanding printmaker was Master E.S., who flourished about 1440–67 and was one of the first to use initials as a signature on his plates. Little is known about him, but the personality that emerges from approximately 317 plates is forceful and distinct. Although it is evident from his prints that, like most early engravers, he was first trained as a goldsmith, his work has strong pictorial quality.

      Martin Schongauer (Schongauer, Martin) was the first great engraver who is known to have been a painter rather than a goldsmith. Although Schongauer's style was still Gothic in character, he composed with much greater freedom than his contemporaries, thus representing a transition into the Renaissance. He made about 115 plates, mostly of religious subjects, and was a powerful influence on the young Albrecht Dürer (see below Printmaking in the 16th century). During the second half of the 15th century, a group of brilliant engravers known only by their initials emerged in Germany. They are the Masters B.G., B.M., L.G.S., A.G., B.R., and W.H. The controversial figure of Israhel van Meckenem appeared at the end of the 15th century. A superb and extremely prolific engraver, he was a rather eclectic artist, borrowing from other masters and often copying them.

      In the 15th century, Italian printmaking was dominated by the northern cities: Florence, Venice, and Milan. Throughout the century, printmaking was mainly concerned with playing cards and book illustrations, with a few single prints appearing in the second half of the century. While in Germany and the Netherlands the art was completely dominated by devotional, religious subject matter, Italian printmaking covered a relatively broad range. The awakening Renaissance attitude made the artists much more receptive to purely aesthetic, decorative, sensuous experience. In addition to religious subject matter, Italian prints included mythology, pure ornamentation, and some of the finest early portrait engravings.

      Giorgio Vasari (Vasari, Giorgio), the chronicler of the Renaissance, credited the Florentine goldsmith Maso Finiguerra (Finiguerra, Maso) with the invention of printed engraving, but present knowledge indicates that, at the same period in Germany and the Netherlands, printmaking was in a more advanced stage. In spite of the fact that book printing was originally introduced from the northern countries into Italy, engraving remained a national, regional development, free of strong foreign influence until the beginning of the 16th century.

      Two methods of engraving were practiced in Italy, the broad manner and the fine manner. The fine manner, associated with the Finiguerra school, is characterized by closely cut and extremely fine lines combined with cross-hatching intermingled at times with dots. The broad manner is less dense, and forms are modelled using diagonally cut parallel lines, interlaid at times with short cuts or dots. In shading, the spacing between the lines is wider than in the fine manner and there is no cross-hatching.

      Finiguerra himself was not an important artist. His significance lies in his influence on Antonio Pollaiuolo, a Florentine painter, sculptor, and architect whose reputation as one of the most distinguished engravers of the 15th century is based on his one authenticated print, “The Battle of the Nudes” (c. 1465)—a powerful image, beautifully engraved in the broad manner.

      While Pollaiuolo worked in Florence, Andrea Mantegna (Mantegna, Andrea), a great painter and certainly the most eminent Italian printmaker, lived and worked in Mantua. Mantegna produced approximately 20 plates (only seven of which are completely authenticated), all line engravings in the broad manner. A superb draftsman and a virtuoso engraver, Mantegna could achieve, in spite of the limitations of his method, an incredible range of colour in his prints, a quality lacking in the work of most of his followers.

      In addition to the masters, talented engravers included Cristofano Robetta, a Florentine who made some rich, intricate engravings in the fine manner; and the Venetian Jacopo de' Barbari, who travelled in Germany and whose refined engravings show the influence of Albrecht Dürer.

Other countries

The Netherlands (Netherlands, The) and Burgundy
      The first half of the 15th century in the Netherlands and Burgundy was dominated by woodcut book illustrations. Although no single prints of great importance were produced, beautiful books were published. Antwerp and Delft were the main printing centres.

      Parallel with, if not even a little earlier than, the emergence of distinguished printmakers in mid-15th-century Germany, a group of great engravers emerged in the Netherlands and neighbouring Burgundy. Superb artists, they are identified only by the subject of their most characteristic work: the Master of the Death of Mary, Master of the Gardens of Love, and Master of the Mount of Calvary.

      Toward the end of the century, the Netherlands produced a brilliant artist—rivalling Master E.S.—known as the Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet or Master of the Hausbuch (Housebook, Master of the), who worked between 1450 and 1470. He is known by this name because the finest collection of his extremely rare prints is in the Print Cabinet of the Rijksmuseum. His prints are painterly and almost expressionist in power. His role in the technical development of printmaking is also significant, as he was the first major artist to make drypoints.

      In France, book illustrations dominated printmaking throughout the century. Paris, the cultural centre, led in book publishing, although other prosperous cities, such as Lyon, produced many illustrated books. The publications printed by Dupré and Pierre Le Rouge are the glories of French medieval graphic art.

      Strangely enough, there was little engraving of importance. Most of the French engravings of this period were either rather crude, provincial illustrations or playing cards.

Printmaking in the 16th century
      Albrecht Dürer (Dürer, Albrecht) was the master of 16th-century German graphic arts. One of the towering figures in the history of printmaking, he was a complex, truly Renaissance man, interested in philosophy and science as well as art. He was one of the first to break the provincial isolation of Germany by travelling to Italy, where he learned from the Italians and in turn influenced them.

      Dürer's subject matter mirrors his thoroughly European intellectual orientation. His prints deal with religion, history, mythology, and folklore. He is also one of the first great portrait engravers.

      Dürer was one of the supreme draftsmen of all time and an artist of enormous imagination and sensibility. As a technician he raised the art of engraving to a height it never reached again. As an experimenter, he produced, in addition to his engravings and woodcuts, etchings and drypoints. His best works are metal engravings, which he cut himself. His woodcuts are perfect reproductions of his superb drawings.

      Hans Baldung-Grien (Baldung-Grien, Hans), another great German printmaker and one of the most original artists of his time, worked with Dürer. In his images of witchcraft and magic, Baldung expressed the medieval mysticism that lingered in the German Renaissance. Besides his black and white work, he produced fine chiaroscuro woodcuts in which light and shadow are produced by using different wood blocks for different tones of the same colour.

      Lucas Cranach the Elder (Cranach, Lucas, the Elder) was a typical representative of the German Renaissance—much less affected by the Italian Renaissance influence than Dürer. He had a vivid imagination and an earthy imagery that was full of vitality. He made many woodcuts and relatively few metal engravings.

      Albrecht Altdorfer (Altdorfer, Albrecht) was one of the first great landscape artists and one of the first to make landscape etching and woodcuts for their own sake, rather than as backgrounds for figures. Under his influence, two other artists made fine landscape prints: Augustin Hirschvogel and Hans Sebald Lautensack. The spontaneity and directness of their work foreshadows the lyrical landscapes of the 18th century.

      The 16th century also included the artists who were referred to as Little Masters. They were so called because of the size of their prints, not their stature as artists. They were Barthel Beham, Hans Beham, Georg Pencz, and Heinrich Aldegrever.

Other countries
      The Netherlands and Flanders. The outstanding Dutch printmaker of the period was Lucas van Leyden (1489/94–1533). If the latter birth date is correct, at the age of 14 he was already an accomplished engraver. In maturity, he was a superb engraver, in many respects rivalling Dürer. Besides his metal engravings, which are characterized by a very delicate touch, van Leyden designed many wood blocks and also made a few etchings.

      A virtuoso of the burin, the Flemish engraver Hendrik Goltzius (Goltzius, Hendrik) (1558–1617) developed an incredible variety of cuts and textures to imitate the surface qualities of materials. Other printmakers of the period include Allaert Claesz and Cornelis Matsys.

      After the death of Mantegna in 1506, Italian printmaking of the 16th century was dominated by lesser figures. During the 16th century the few etchings produced in Italy have only historical interest.

      The most influential engraver of the century was Marcantonio Raimondi (Raimondi, Marcantonio). Under the influence of Dürer, Raimondi became a virtuoso engraver; technically Dürer's equal, he lacked his master's originality. Raimondi eventually became the engraver of Raphael, organizing a workshop that was dedicated primarily to making reproductions of the master's work. Thus, Raimondi won the dubious honour of being the first of the many printmakers who ultimately were influential in turning the art of engraving into mere reproduction. He was followed by a whole generation of competent engravers who were devoted solely to reproduction.

      One of the exceptions was Giorgio Ghisi of Mantua, who in his isolated regional development escaped the corrupting influence of Rome. His 1550 visit to Antwerp made Ghisi an important link between Italian and northern engraving.

      The only major figure in 16th-century French engraving is Jean Duvet (Duvet, Jean), whose predilection for excessive ornamentation indicates that he was trained as a goldsmith. Although Duvet's style was influenced by Mantegna, his imagery was completely original. His greatest work, “The Apocalypse,” reveals a feverish, mystical imagination.

      Apart from the work of Duvet, ornamental engraving was the most significant achievement of 16th-century French printmaking. Although these elegant engravings cannot be ranked with the work of the great masters, they represent a genuine expression of the French spirit. The outstanding figure of this school was Étienne Delaune. Although his motifs were influenced by those employed by Raphael for his fresco wall paintings in the Vatican, Delaune nonetheless achieved a personal style.

Trends in the late 16th century
      By the second half of the 16th century, the quality of printmaking, particularly engraving, had gone into a severe decline. Masters like Dürer and Mantegna were replaced by skilled craftsmen. The trend toward reproduction that had begun with Raimondi gained ground, sapping the vitality of engraving. Yet at the same time, the quantity of production increased. Except for the modern era, this was probably the most prolific period of printmaking. Since it was the beginning of the age of travel, discovery, and religious upheaval, the demand for maps, religious pictures, illustrations, and portraits was enormous.

      One after the other, print publishing houses opened all over Europe. Dutch and Flemish families dominated the new profession: in the Netherlands, the firms Cock, Galle, and Passe; in Augsburg, Dominicus Custos; in Antwerp, Brussels, Prague, and Venice, the Sadeler family. In Italy, Antonio Salamanca cornered the market and flooded it with bad reprints of Raimondi engravings.

      The publishers of this period usually bought the original plates outright from the artist and issued prints on demand in unlimited quantities. If the plates wore out, they were reworked in the publishers' own workshops, a practice that was responsible for the destruction of many fine artworks. In many cases, it is no longer possible to identify the creator of the original plate.

      In this period, map engravers were particularly important: the maps of Abraham Ortelius were engraved by Franz Hogenberg; Gerardus Mercator (Mercator, Gerardus) engraved his own map designs; and Jodocus Hondius bought the Mercator plates after their use in the edition of 1596 and introduced them in England, along with some of his own work.

Printmaking in the 17th century
Portrait engraving

      The end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th were dominated by ornamental engravers and illustrators, who were working under Flemish influence; by the middle of the 17th century, however, a distinctly French school of portrait engraving had emerged. Although this school did not produce a major master, it represents a significant phase of European printmaking.

      Michael Lesne, a French portraitist whose influence was considerable, worked for a time in the Rubens workshop, later returning to France. Claude Mellan, another major influence, was trained in Rome. Technical virtuosity dominated his prints; for example, the modelling of a face with one continuous spiral.

      A superb engraver and a fine draftsman, Robert Nanteuil (Nanteuil, Robert) is considered the undisputed master of French portrait engraving. His style is simple, elegant, and free of the mannerism characteristic of his contemporaries. He and his two rivals—Gerard Edelinck, who was born in Antwerp but studied and developed his style in France, and Antoine Masson, who engraved portraits in the grand style—represented the dominant forces in 17th-century French portrait engraving.

      After the glories of the 15th and 16th centuries, German graphic genius was dormant for nearly three centuries. Historically, Ludwig von Siegen (Siegen, Ludwig von), a minor painter and medalist, is important for his invention of the mezzotint printing method. But the perfecting of this tonal technique increased the reproductive facility of printmaking, thus contributing to the decline of artistic creativity.

      Like France, Germany produced a school of portrait engravers; but, although competent technicians, they failed to develop a distinctly national school comparable to the French. Of this group, two are significant: Jeremias Falck, a student of Hondius, and Bartholomäus Kilian, who studied in Paris and later introduced French influence into German printmaking.

The Netherlands
      Portrait engraving in Holland was on a higher level than in Germany. Cornelis van Dalen was a fine engraver who emigrated to England and died there. More gifted than his father, Cornelis van Dalen II was an artist of considerable stature, who engraved some of the most powerful portraits of his time.

      Abraham Blooteling, a pupil of van Dalen II, was also a fine portrait engraver. His major contribution, however, was in the development of the new technique of mezzotint—specifically, the invention of the rocker, the tool used in the technique. He also introduced the mezzotint into England, where it was adopted with such success that it later became known as the “English Manner.”

      In the 17th century, English printmaking produced a portrait engraver of considerable stature, William Faithorne (Faithorne, William). He studied in France and initially was under the influence of Mellan and Nanteuil; in his late work, however, he developed a style independent of theirs. Faithorne was England's only major native printmaker during this period, when most prints were reproductive engravings. By the end of the century, engraving was in total decline, replaced by the fashionable mezzotint.

Flemish (Flanders) printmaking
      One of the dominant figures of European art was Peter Paul Rubens (Rubens, Peter Paul), who was a painter, diplomat, and businessman. Quickly recognizing the commercial potential of printmaking, Rubens organized a graphic workshop where, under his supervision, reproductions of his work were produced. Only one etching, “St. Catherine,” is considered as his own. The quality of this one print indicates how great was the loss to the art of printmaking that this great draftsman did not make more original etchings.

      Rubens' pupil Anthony Van Dyck (Van Dyck, Sir Anthony) was one of the most distinguished portrait painters of his time. At age 27 he undertook a very ambitious project: the etched portraits of the 100 most famous men of his day. For this set of prints, known as the “Iconography,” he completed 18 portraits. But only five of these (“Peter Brueghel the Younger,” “Snellinx,” “Erasmus,” “Suttermans,” and “Josse de Momper”) remained unchanged; another five were retouched by professional engravers, and the rest were completely reworked by them.

      Like the Van Dyck portraits, nearly all of the outstanding prints produced in the 17th century were etchings. Etching emerged as the dominant technique for many reasons. The fact that engraving had become a completely commercialized, reproductive method and that mezzotint had never been anything else alienated many artists. As an unexploited and relatively unexplored medium, etching intrigued the experimentally oriented. Furthermore, the fluid, flexible technique of etching was a lure for the creative painter, whose own medium had become freer and more spontaneous.

      At the beginning of the 17th century, there was more etching in Italy than in any other European country. Strangely enough, probably the three most important etchers—Jacques Callot, Claude Lorrain, and José de Ribera—were foreign-born.

      The Bolognese school was formed around Guido Reni (Reni, Guido), whose delicate etching style of light lines and dots became a standard technique for most Italian etchers of his time. His school, however, did not produce any superior printmakers.

      The Spanish painter José de Ribera (Ribera, José de) was the dominant figure of the Neapolitan school. Though he was the first major realist painter in Italy and a strong influence against the idealizing trend, both his paintings and his etchings were outside the mainstream of Italian art.

      Next to Ribera, Salvator Rosa (Rosa, Salvator), an Italian, was the most notable artist of the Neapolitan school, producing a large number of etchings that are full of charm but of no great importance.

      Born in Nancy, France, Jacques Callot (Callot, Jacques) ran away from home as a boy to study art in Italy. Of all the artists engaged in 17th-century Italian printmaking, he was historically the most significant; for he was one of the first to use repeated bitings on his plates to achieve tonal variations. His drawing style represented a transition between engraving and etching: using a specially shaped etching needle of his own invention, he imitated the swelling and tapering characteristics of the engraved line. His illustrations record and ironically comment upon the customs, historical events, and morals of his time. Callot's work was often decorative and manneristic; but, at his best, as in the series “The Miseries and Disasters of War” (1633), he transcended mere illustration and achieved powerful images of universal significance.

       Claude Lorrain, also French-born, was one of the finest landscape painters in Italy, and he had an intuitive understanding of the etching medium. His spontaneous interpretation of the atmospheric quality of his subject foreshadows the Barbizon school and Impressionism in the 19th century.

The Netherlands (Netherlands, The)
      In the beginning of the 17th century, Holland suddenly exploded into a frenzy of creativity in etching. The sensitive, atmospheric etchings of the brothers Esaias (Velde, Esaias van de) and Jan van de Velde can be considered the beginning of the Dutch landscape school. Others were Adriaen van Stalbent, Pieter de Molijn, and Willem Buytewech—all fine printmakers, but all eventually overshadowed by the dramatic personality of Rembrandt. Before him, however, another artist appeared who was so original that no historical precedent could anticipate him. Hercules Seghers (Seghers, Hercules Pietersz) is one of the most interesting and mysterious figures in the history of printmaking. He was a lonely, tragic man, an experimenter who was so far ahead of his time that it took centuries for the real significance of his work to become apparent. It is known that Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) appreciated his work. He owned some of Seghers' prints and even reworked one of his plates, “Tobias and the Angel” (c. 1633); keeping the landscape, he changed the figures, making it “The Flight into Egypt” (1653).

      Seghers was the first real experimenter in intaglio colour printing. His methods were completely unorthodox: he printed on tinted canvas, tried light lines on a dark background, and also mixed printing with hand colouring. Seghers' etching technique was itself very unorthodox. His eroded lines, so well suited to his subject matter, are unlike any etched line made before him, which has led some experts to the conclusion that Seghers invented the lift ground, an aquatint technique.

      Most of Seghers' etchings represent craggy, arid landscapes. Everything he drew—landscapes, still lifes, even figures—seem to be made of stone. It is a world suspended in the timelessness of death.

      Even among the supreme artists of the world, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) van Rijn occupies a very special place. One of the most eminent painters of all time, he also left a graphic oeuvre of heroic proportions both in quantity and quality. A great innovator, he was the first artist to fully explore the possibilities of the etched line.

      Rembrandt made approximately 300 plates. His subject matter represents practically every aspect of human existence: he rendered religious and historical subjects; he explored themes of love and death; and he created profound portraits and sensitive landscapes. Everything that was part of life concerned him, from the highest ideals to the most mundane bodily functions.

      While Rembrandt's early prints are pure etchings, his later works frequently combine the techniques of etching and drypoint. Since he often reworked his plates between printings, there are sometimes enormous variations between proofs. Rembrandt's immediate influence on his students and followers was not very productive, for his personality was so overpowering that those close to him fell under his spell and simply imitated his style. Associated artists such as J.G. van Vliet, who copied and reworked many of the master's plates, and Jan Lievens were mere shadows of Rembrandt. Among those closely associated with Rembrandt, probably Ferdinand Bol was the strongest, but even he is dwarfed by comparison.

      Also active during Rembrandt's time and somewhat overshadowed by him was Adriaen van Ostade (Ostade, Adriaen van), one of the most gifted of Dutch genre painters. The subjects of both his paintings and prints were taken mainly from the daily lives of simple people, usually peasants. In spirit, his work represented an important departure from the heroic orientation of historic and religious painting, reflecting a crucial social change—the emergence of a middle class in Europe. For the first time, common people replaced the clergy and the nobility as a source of inspiration for an artist. Van Ostade's etching technique was influenced by the early Rembrandt, but his drawing style was personal. It was simple, undramatic, and direct—well suited to his intimate subject matter.

      Throughout the 17th century, landscape painting and etching thrived in Holland. Jan van Goyen and Roelant Roghman both made fine landscape paintings and etchings. In this group the most interesting figure is Jacob van Ruisdael (Ruisdael, Jacob van), whose sensitive, luminous landscape etchings foreshadowed the Barbizon school.

      Toward the end of the century, a strong Italian influence invaded Holland. Since the earthiness of the Dutch temperament did not mix well with the Italian tendency toward idealization, the result was an eclecticism that drained Dutch art of much of its vitality.

      Until the 17th century, Japanese painting was completely dominated by Chinese influence. The Japanese silk paintings and screens of idealized landscapes were hardly distinguishable from their Chinese counterparts. Then, in the early 17th century, an artist of aristocratic origin, Iwasa Matabei, started to paint images related to his environment and personal experience. Although this era of Japanese art history is rather obscure, he is credited with being one of the founders (along with Iwasa Matabei II and Iwasa Matabei of Otsu) of Ukiyo-e, whose woodcuts of the transient world or the world of everyday life represented a drastic break with the classical tradition. Of the three artists Matabei of Otsu was the most original and had the strongest influence on the development of Japanese printmaking. By standards of Western taste, the images the Ukiyo-e school produced are highly stylized and thoroughly refined. Cultured Japanese, however, found them shockingly vulgar. The very fact that ordinary landscapes and the daily life of common people, actors, and courtesans were the inspiration for the Ukiyo-e artist represented a startling departure from tradition. Just as the emerging middle class revolutionized taste in Europe, the prosperous city dwellers of Edo, Kyōto, and Ōsaka developed their own aesthetic subculture. The development of the popular Kabuki theatre, as distinct from the aristocratic Nō drama, parallels the blossoming of Japanese printmaking.

      The first great master of Japanese printmaking was Hishikawa Moronobu. A creative innovator, he was the first to use street scenes, peddlers, and crowds as his subject matter and to make his prints available to the common people. As a result, he was looked upon by many as the inventor of printmaking. He illustrated more than 100 books, mirroring the culture and customs of his time. Moronobu's style was a perfect harmony of rhythm, delicacy, and monumental simplicity, leading the way toward the great flowering of Japanese printmaking in the 18th century.

Printmaking in the 18th century
      In the 18th century, Italy was the most fertile soil in Europe for printmaking. The first outstanding printmaker of the century was the Rococo master Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista). His lightly bitten, spontaneous plates reveal superb draftsmanship. With rhythmic, delicate textures, he created a living, luminous space. His 50 plates represent a major contribution to the development of etching—a contribution that was further enhanced by his influence on Goya (see below Spain (printmaking)). Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, the son of Battista, produced a greater quantity of prints than did his father but remained under his influence all his life.

      One of the most original printmakers of the period, Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) created lyrical etchings that were charged with the misty atmosphere of Venice. Inexhaustible in linear and textural invention, they are perfect examples of the simulation of colour and light by purely graphic means. His nephew and pupil, Bernardo Bellotto (Canaletto), who assumed his name, was a prolific printmaker, but, again, he remained under his uncle's influence.

      Giambattista Piranesi (Piranesi, Giovanni Battista) was the greatest architectural printmaker of his time and probably of all time. Trained as an architect, he was passionately interested in Roman antiquities. Of the approximately 3,000 large etchings completed by Piranesi, all are brilliant, and many rise above documentation. His most important work is the Carceri d'invenzione (imaginary prison scenes). The plates, which were made in his youth (published c. 1750), are personal, rich, and evocative, far surpassing anything he created after them.

      Until the 18th century, English printmaking was dominated by foreign influences. William Hogarth (Hogarth, William), the first major English printmaker, created not only a personal style but a national school. He was a gifted pictorial satirist, belonging in some respects to the tradition of Callot and Goya. He is, however, more earthy than Callot and lacks the savagery of Goya. Hogarth was a printmaker of the people, whose work was so popular that to protect it from imitators he instigated the first engraving copyright act of 1735. Although his drawing was rather pedestrian, Hogarth's prints reveal a sharp observation, projected with robust vitality.

      Next to Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson (Rowlandson, Thomas) is the most significant representative of English satire. A brilliant draftsman and a deft caricaturist, he spoofed the moral and social life of England with great humour.

      William Blake is by far the most interesting figure in English printmaking. Poet and experimental printmaker, he was a visionary, creating his works totally outside the mainstream of art history. His printed work consisted primarily of book illustrations. Original and inventive in technique, he used a great range of media, from wood and metal engraving to relief etching. In the latter he devised a transfer method that enabled him to etch the text and the illustration on the same plate. Many of his prints were hand coloured, but he also printed colour by an offset method of his own invention.

      Thomas Bewick (Bewick, Thomas) was a provincial illustrator who made a great number of charming wood engravings, primarily of animals and rural genre scenes. He was a pioneer in the technique of wood engraving, introducing tonal variations by slightly varying the level of his blocks.

      To reproduce the fashionable paintings of the day, commercial engravers perfected a whole arsenal of reproduction techniques, such as mezzotint, stipple engraving and etching, and crayon manner.

      Spanish printmaking in the 17th century had been dominated by Flemish and French influences, and no printmaker of importance emerged during the period.

      In the 18th-century artist Francisco de Goya (Goya, Francisco de), Spain had not only its first truly great printmaker but also the only printmaker whose etchings rival Rembrandt's. Moreover, he is the most eminent satirist printmaking has produced. His visual comments on human folly, war, and religious persecution are devastating.

      Goya created four major cycles of prints. The first, “Los caprichos” (1797–98), consists of 80 enigmatic prints commenting on all phases of life. In 1810 he began the 83 plates of “Los desastres de la guerra,” a strong visual protest against the brutality of war. After this came “La tauromaquia” (1815–16), a brilliant series on bull fighting. The last important series was “Los disparates,” or “Proverbs” (c. 1820–24), a biting, though often humorous, interpretation of human folly.

      Technically, the Goya etchings are simple and direct. He usually combined line etching with aquatint; his masterful control of the latter, a relatively new technique, has never been surpassed. Toward the end of his life, he also made a few rich, powerful lithographs.

      Most 18th-century French etchings were drawings transferred to copper, in which the effects of pencil, pen, or chalk were imitated. Although some distinguished painters, such as Antoine Watteau, made etchings, no prints of importance were produced. Jean-Honoré Fragonard (Fragonard, Jean-Honoré) made a few lovely etchings reminiscent of Tiepolo. They have a luminous, transparent quality and express the Rococo spirit but are nevertheless minor works of a major painter. Two artists are notable for technical achievements: Jean-Charles François developed the crayon manner, and Jean-Baptiste Le Prince is credited with the invention of aquatint.

      The first Japanese artist to produce single prints in quantity was Torii Kiyonobu, who specialized in portraits of actors and theatre posters. His school, the Torii, dominated printing for the theatre for two centuries. Another imaginative innovator of the early 18th century was Okumura Masanobu, who experimented with inks, embossing, and gold and silver overlays. He also invented the two-colour print and generally standardized colour printing. His studio greatly influenced the evolution of colour woodcut. Suzuki Harunobu, one of the most charming masters of Japanese woodcut, created prints of infinite delicacy and grace. In this respect he is a forerunner and rival of Utamaro. A highly gifted colourist, he was one of the first to exploit the nishiki-e, or full-colour print. He was also the first to colour print backgrounds and to use blind embossing extensively to give his prints three-dimensional textures. Katsukawa Shunshō is notable for his austere portraits of actors, which he designed with much strength and intensity. Some of his portraits are among the finest in Japanese printmaking.

      The period from 1780 to 1790 was dominated by Torii Kiyonaga, whose work represents the Ukiyo-e at its height. He was a great draftsman and designer and could harmonize in his prints the two seemingly contradictory qualities of elegance and power. Kiyonaga was one of the first to experiment with the compositional possibilities of the diptych, triptych, and pentaptych formats. Although he conceived each block as a self-contained unit, they functioned together in harmony. Kitagawa Utamaro can justly be called the supreme poet of Japanese art. Utamaro's prints are the most perfect expression of a tender, loving contemplation of nature, which included not only birds and flowers but women as well. At the age of 50, he was put in jail for an offending print; broken in spirit, he died shortly after his release. During his lifetime he produced over 600 series of books and albums. Toshusai Sharaku (Tōshūsai Sharaku) is not only one of the most distinguished but also one of the most mysterious figures of Japanese art. Seemingly out of nowhere, his magnificent, powerful portraits of actors suddenly appeared on posters. The boldness of the portraits, verging on caricature; their psychological insight; their richness in colour all represented a daring new attitude. The originality of these prints disturbed the authorities to such an extent that the police prohibited them. In less than two years of working life, Sharaku had produced approximately 145 portraits; then the prodigious flow of work stopped, and he disappeared again.

Printmaking in the 19th century
      The 19th century was a turbulent period of art, one aesthetic revolution following the other.

      French domination of 19th-century art is comparable to northern domination of 15th-century printmaking. Few graphic artists of importance worked outside France. The great French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (Ingres, J.-A.-D) made only a few etchings, mainly portraits; but, as demonstrated by the lithograph “L'Odalisque” (1825), his draftsmanship was incomparable. Eugène Delacroix (Delacroix, Eugène) left a much more extensive graphic oeuvre: 24 etchings and 131 lithographs. Both in subject matter and style, Delacroix's prints are eloquent expressions of the Romantic spirit. In his tragically short life, Théodore Géricault (Géricault, Théodore) made a series of powerful lithographs; his horses are considered classics in their genre.

      At midcentury, a rebellion against studio painting took place. A group of young landscape painters, most of whom were also printmakers, formed a group that became known as the Barbizon school. The etchings of Charles-François Daubigny, Théodore Rousseau, and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (Corot, Camille) were close to the spirit of the 17th-century Dutch landscapes. Corot made prints whose spontaneity foreshadowed Impressionism; he also experimented with the newly discovered photographic method of cliché-verre.

      Another member of this group, Jean-François Millet (Millet, Jean-François), was concerned particularly with depicting peasant life. His small but simple etchings are reminiscent of the 17th-century Dutch genre painter van Ostade at his best.

      Honoré Daumier (Daumier, Honoré), one of the foremost political satirists of printmaking, was associated with the Barbizon school only through friendships. He produced over 4,000 lithographs (many of them newspaper illustrations), which are visually powerful expressions of his passionate convictions. His best work ranks with that of the greatest masters of printmaking.

      A number of French artists were solitary figures working outside of any school; Charles Méryon (Méryon, Charles), Rodolphe Bresdin (Bresdin, Rodolphe), and Odilon Redon (Redon, Odilon), for example. Méryon led a short, tragic life, living in poverty and dying insane. His major work is a series of landscapes of Paris—powerfully drawn, moody prints combining an air of mystery with morbid poetry. Bresdin was also a solitary figure, unappreciated and misunderstood most of his life. His etchings and lithographs are characterized by completely personal and fantastically rich imagery. The great symbolist painter Redon initially made prints under the influence of Bresdin. His graphic work—a few etchings but mostly lithographs—consists of about 206 prints, whose strange, often bizarre imagery powerfully influenced the Surrealists of the 20th century.

      Although, basically, the Impressionists (Impressionism) were concerned with the creation of light through colour, several artists identified with them made major contributions to printmaking. Of these, Édouard Manet (Manet, Édouard) and Edgar Degas (Degas, Edgar) are the most important. Both were superb draftsmen, and, in spite of their association with an avant-garde movement, their roots were firmly planted in traditional art. Manet made a few fine etchings, but his best and most personal works are lithographs, in which his swift but astonishingly precise drawing found its proper medium. Degas's drawings of horses and ballet dancers are miracles of observation and precision—as are his etchings and lithographs. Degas also made a series of monoprints, including a group of remarkably abstract landscapes. The grand old man of the Impressionists, Camille Pissarro (Pissarro, Camille), made 194 prints, both etchings and lithographs. His fine graphic work is representative of forceful Impressionist drawing.

      The discovery of Japanese colour woodcuts was a revelation that profoundly influenced European art. Until the middle of the 19th century, Japanese printmaking was unknown to the West. As trade relations opened up with Japan, some colour prints came into the hands of young Parisian artists, who responded to the exotic images with great enthusiasm. The simple, abstract handling of colour and design represented a totally new visual experience. Paul Gauguin (Gauguin, Paul) was one who profited greatly from their influence, which is perhaps more evident in his paintings than in his prints. Following centuries in which the woodcut was used for reproduction, Gauguin's powerful, boldly cut wood blocks were like a breath of fresh air. In the prints of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de), Japanese influence is more immediate. Although most of his prints were lithographs, the simple bold design, the flat, decorative colour, and the startling disposition of blacks clearly show this influence, which he assimilated and turned into a thoroughly personal expression. A very strong Japanese influence can be seen also in the brilliant color aquatints of the American-born Impressionist Mary Cassatt (Cassatt, Mary).

      The giant of Postimpressionism, Paul Cézanne (Cézanne, Paul), made three etchings and three lithographs. His immense influence on modern art makes his colour lithograph “The Bathers” (c. 1900) an important graphic document. The Dutch artist Johan Barthold Jongkind (Jongkind, Johan Barthold), who lived in France, created sensitive landscapes and marine etchings that were a transition between the Barbizon school and Impressionism.

 The most famous Japanese master of woodcut, Hokusai, was born near Edo (Tokyo). From the age of 15, when he became an apprentice, until his death in 1849 at the age of 89, he produced an unending stream of masterpieces—about 35,000 drawings and prints, a staggering figure even considering his long life. He also wrote books and poems. There are few masters in the history of art whose work is comparable to Hokusai's in variety and depth. His interests encompassed history and mythology, popular customs, animal life, and landscape. His output was so enormous and the quality of his work so high that it is difficult to single out individual pieces. The “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji” (c. 1826–33; see photograph—>) is probably his most popular set of prints. The 15 volumes of the Hokusai manga (“Hokusai's Sketches”), published between 1814 and 1878, are fascinating work, for in these rather informal woodcuts the artist gives a comprehensive record of Japanese life and culture. Of all the Japanese masters, the universal genius of Hokusai had the greatest impact on European art.

      The last master printmaker of Japan was Andō Hiroshige, whose death in 1858 ends the remarkable dynasty of artists that had begun two centuries earlier. Hiroshige was a great landscape painter and, with Hokusai, the first to capture the European imagination. He was also a versatile artist, famous in Europe as a painter at a time when in Japan he was known mainly as a poet. His greatest period of landscape-painting activity was from 1830 to about 1844. During that time he embarked on a sketching journey (1832), and these sketches formed the basis of “Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō,” his most important series of landscapes.

      Like the work of the Impressionists in Western art history, Hiroshige's prints are spontaneous both in style and in atmosphere, capturing the essence of the fleeting moments of nature.

Other countries
      In Germany, Max Liebermann made a few etchings of real individuality, but the most important German achievement of the period was the invention of lithography (c. 1796) by Aloys Senefelder (Senefelder, Alois), who was not an artist. Although the Belgian artist Félicien Rops (Rops, Félicien) lived outside France, he was strongly influenced by the school of Paris. His witty, erotic etchings represent a minor but personal expression of the period. In Sweden, the enormously successful Anders Zorn made etchings and drypoints with great virtuosity.

      English printmaking of the 19th century centred around two great personalities, Sir Francis Seymour Haden and his brother-in-law, James McNeill Whistler (Whistler, James McNeill). Haden was a Victorian country gentleman, a surgeon who loved and collected etchings. He started to make prints in his leisure time—and ultimately produced over 200 plates. His etchings, sensitively observed documentations of his environment, represent a significant contribution to the English landscape tradition. Whistler was born in America and attended West Point for a period; but he left to study art in Paris, where he met many of the leading artists, including Degas. In 1859 he went to London, where he resided until his death. Whistler was an immensely gifted, complex personality. Simultaneously with his fashionable portraiture, he did a great deal of experimentation; in the nearly abstract paintings and prints that he called “Nocturnes” (begun in 1866), for example, he was far ahead of his time. His graphic oeuvre, 442 etchings and drypoints and 150 lithographs, had great impact on modern printmaking. The freedom and painterliness of Whistler's etchings were particularly significant because they came to act as a strong liberating influence.

      Printmaking in 19th-century America was still provincial and did not produce any artist comparable to the European masters. The colour engravings of flora and fauna executed by the naturalist John James Audubon constitute a significant body of work, however.

      In Mexico, the popular illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (Posada, José Guadalupe) produced thousands of woodcuts and lead cuts for newspapers in a completely original style—a mixture of sophistication and the naïveté of popular art. His work had a substantial influence on the young Mexican revolutionary art movement.

Printmaking in the 20th century
      The invention of photography in the early 1800s had a great influence on the development of the visual arts. Its effect was the most immediate on printmaking: photographic reproduction processes made reproductive printmaking obsolete, and printmaking was returned to the creative artist.

      The experimental attitude that originated with the Impressionists accelerated in the 20th century. The new styles and new directions that arose with bewildering rapidity made the first half of the century one of the most exciting periods in the history of art.

      Continuing the pattern set in the 19th century, France dominated the art world. Attracted by its creative climate, young artists like the Spaniard Pablo Picasso flocked to Paris from other countries and, together with the French, formed the school of Paris, which produced many first-rate artists.

      At the same time, Germany became again a vital art centre. German Expressionism and later the Bauhaus school not only produced a number of distinguished artists but eventually exerted international influence.

      The following discussion deals only with the “old masters” of contemporary art, those considered to be in historically secure positions. Four transitional figures are singled out as being of particular importance because they represent a bridge between the 19th and 20th centuries. Edvard Munch (Munch, Edvard) was an extraordinarily gifted Norwegian painter and printmaker who worked in Paris and in Berlin. His intense imagery, with psychological undertones, relates him to German Expressionism. A versatile artist, he made outstanding etchings, drypoints, colour lithographs, and experimental woodcuts. The Belgian artist James Ensor (Ensor, James, Baron) made superb etchings in a style related to Impressionism, but with fantastic imagery that was close to Surrealism. Close friends, the Frenchmen Pierre Bonnard (Bonnard, Pierre) and Édouard Vuillard (Vuillard, Édouard) produced similar graphic works. Inspired by the Japanese woodcut prints, both made sensitive, beautiful colour lithographs.

      Pablo Picasso (Picasso, Pablo) was without doubt the most dramatic and monumental figure of contemporary graphic art. Besides being a superb painter and sculptor, he created a graphic oeuvre so rich and all-encompassing that he stands alone. He made well over 1,000 prints, including etchings, engravings, drypoints, woodcuts, lithographs, and linoleum cuts. Georges Braque (Braque, Georges), the cofounder with Picasso of Cubism, produced 10 major Cubist etchings. The distinguished French painter Henri Matisse (Matisse, Henri) was a remarkable colorist and a highly accomplished draftsman. Although the majority of his more than 500 prints are lithographs, he also made some outstanding line etchings and, late in his career, some cutout prints that are masterpieces of design and colour orchestration. Georges Rouault (Rouault, Georges), the French Expressionist, was a solitary figure in contemporary art. The most important graphic work of this religious painter was the “Miserere,” a set of etchings published in 1948. Jacques Villon (Villon, Jacques), a major French printmaker, was recognized late in his life as a great painter. Early in his career he made colour aquatints, after the paintings of his more celebrated contemporaries, that raised the level of intaglio colour printing to new heights. Later he developed a completely personal style within the Cubist tradition. He made more than 600 prints including engravings, etchings, drypoints, and colour lithographs. The poetic, naïve, and, at the same time, sophisticated style of Marc Chagall (Chagall, Marc), a Russian Jewish member of the school of Paris, sets him apart from any art movement. In his significant body of graphic work, the most accomplished prints are illustrations of the Bible, the works of the Russian writer Nikolay Gogol, and the fables of the Frenchman Jean de La Fontaine. Like his compatriot Picasso, the Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miró (Miró, Joan) was a prolific printmaker. His witty colour etchings and lithographs represent an achievement equal to his paintings. Max Ernst (Ernst, Max) was a founder of Surrealism and one of the most inventive and influential members of the group. In his extensive graphic work, he introduced a number of new techniques; most notable was his imaginative use of the “collage” in printmaking. Stanley William Hayter (Hayter, Stanley William), an English painter-printmaker who lived in Paris, has an important position in the development of contemporary experimental printmaking. His significance lies not only in his work as an artist but also in his influence as a teacher. In the 1930s his “Atelier 17” printmaking group was the centre of experimental intaglio work in Paris. In the 1940s he came to the United States and, through his teaching in New York, exercised a powerful influence on contemporary American printmaking. Other artists who did noteworthy graphic work in France include Jean (Hans) Arp, Salvador Dalí, André Derain, Jan Dubuffet, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Alberto Giacometti, Fernand Léger, André Masson, Louis Marcoussis, and Jules Pascin.

      Unlike the extremely varied school of Paris, German Expressionism was quite homogeneous and also much less international. The Expressionists were not united by an aesthetic theory but by their human attitudes and spiritual aspirations. Nearly all of them were active in printmaking, and, although they worked in every contemporary graphic medium, the directness of drypoint and woodcut most appealed to their temperaments.

      Lovis Corinth (Corinth, Lovis) represents a transition from 19th-century naturalism to the Expressionist movement. Although Corinth made etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs, his rich, virile drypoints are his best work. Although not innovative, Käthe Kollwitz's (Kollwitz, Käthe) moving, powerful protest prints against war and poverty are significant graphic statements. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig), one of the major figures of German Expressionism, produced a rich graphic oeuvre consisting of etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts. His experimental colour woodcuts represent one of the most distinguished achievements in contemporary graphic art. Emil Nolde (Nolde, Emil) produced prints characterized by violent imagery. He worked spontaneously, often making woodcuts without preliminary drawings. Although Nolde came late to graphic work, he left an impressive number of woodcuts, etchings, and lithographs. Max Beckmann (Beckmann, Max) was an outstanding draftsman who made many woodcuts and drypoints. In the latter technique he created some of the finest portrait prints of the 20th century. During World War II Beckmann came to the United States, where he exerted considerable influence through his teaching. George Grosz (Grosz, George) used etchings and lithographs to give savage expression to his social criticism of Germany between the wars. The following Expressionists also left significant graphic work: Ernst Barlach, Erich Heckel, Oskar Kokoschka, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

      Other artists moved in a more formal, abstract direction. Based on their philosophy of “new objectivity,” they founded the Bauhaus school in Germany in 1919. The two major artists in this group were the Russian Wassily Kandinsky (Kandinsky, Wassily) and the Swiss Paul Klee (Klee, Paul). Kandinsky was one of the great innovators of contemporary art. In his early, lyrical paintings he was a forerunner of Abstract Expressionism, and in his late mature work he introduced Geometric Abstraction. His graphic work consists of an impressive number of woodcuts and lithographs. The whimsical, lyrical abstractions of Klee also had great influence on the course of modern art. His work—about 120 etchings and lithographs—is full of graphic invention and a rare sense of humour. Lyonel Feininger (Feininger, Lyonel), born in the United States of German parents, studied in Europe and worked most of his life in Germany. He was associated with the Blaue Reiter (Blaue Reiter, Der) group (artists who wished to express through their work the spiritual realities they felt had been ignored by the Impressionists) and then in 1919–33 with the Bauhaus. Feininger concentrated mostly on landscapes, executed in a very personal Cubist style, and was one of the most productive graphic artists at the Bauhaus. In the beginning, he made some etchings and lithographs but from 1918 worked mainly in woodcuts. Josef Albers (Albers, Josef), also associated with the Bauhaus, was born in Germany and moved to the United States in 1933. He made a considerable number of prints, including colour silk screens. Rolf Nesch (Nesch, Rolf) was born in Germany, where he started printmaking with the encouragement of Kirchner. He fled to Oslo from Germany in 1933. One of the most gifted experimental printmakers of the 20th century, Nesch developed the method called metal graphic, which he used to make extremely intricate, heavily embossed colour prints.

Other countries
      Printmaking in Italy was far behind France and Germany. The Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni made a few interesting etchings and the Cubist Gino Severini published a number of rather manneristic etchings and colour lithographs, but neither could be considered important printmakers. Giorgio Morandi (Morandi, Giorgio) is the only major Italian printmaker of this period. His intimate, delicate still-life and landscape etchings occupy a very special position in contemporary graphic art.

      In Great Britain, Henry Moore (Moore, Henry), one of the great sculptors of the 20th century, published a number of strong lithographs. Graham Sutherland (Sutherland, Graham), a painter, made more than 100 etchings and lithographs in a distinctly personal style. Anthony Gross, one of the most talented and prolific English printmakers, has published an impressive body of excellent landscape etchings and engravings (engraving). Among later artists, the imaginative and personal graphic work of David Hockney should be singled out.

      In the United States, after the turn of the century, most of the prominent painters became fairly active printmakers: George Wesley Bellows, in lithography; John Sloan and Reginald Marsh, in etching; Milton Avery, in drypoint and a large number of monoprints; and Stuart Davis, in colour lithography. Among these painter-printmakers, two artists are particularly notable: Edward Hopper (Hopper, Edward), whose few etchings are very personal and of unusually high quality; and Ben Shahn (Shahn, Ben), an extremely prolific printmaker, who left an impressive graphic oeuvre in practically every medium. Of the present generation of established painter-printmakers, only a few are creatively involved in the process, while the rest let the commercial printer take over.

      A revival of the art of the woodcut began in Japan (arts, East Asian) in the late 1920s as part of the modern art movement. Onchi Kōshirō and Hiratsuka Un-ichi were early exponents who, though working in different styles, did most for the renaissance of this national art, which thrived once again after World War II. Among the notable woodcut artists of the postwar period are Munakata Shikō and Saitō Kiyoshi.

      Since the mid-20th century, there has been a spectacular increase in printmaking activity. Artists all over the world are enthusiastically working and experimenting in every conceivable medium. In this period probably more prints were made and more technical innovations introduced than in the previous history of printmaking.

Additional Reading
Donald Saff and Deli Sacilotto, Printmaking: History and Processes (1978), with emphasis on the multitude of techniques; Riva Castleman, Prints of the Twentieth Century (1976), a popularly written survey; Fritz Eichenberg, The Art of the Print (1976), general history and technique; Arthur M. Hind, A History of Engraving and Etching from the 15th Century to the Year 1914, 3rd ed. rev. (1923, reprinted 1963), and An Introduction to a History of Woodcut, with a Detailed Survey of Work Done in the Fifteenth Century, 2 vol. (1935, reprinted 1963), cover brilliantly the whole history and development of Western printmaking; and Jay A. Levenson, Konrad Oberhuber, Jacquelyn L. Sheehan, Early Italian Engravings from the National Gallery of Art (1973), a thorough study of the Italian Renaissance. Other studies particularly recommended are: Jean Laran, L'Estampe, 2 vol. (1959), excellent documentation coupled with a volume of fine reproductions; Willy Boller, Masterpieces of the Japanese Color Woodcut (1957), not a scholarly book but it covers well the high points of Japanese printmaking; Carl Zigrosser, The Book of Fine Prints, rev. ed. (1956), an easy-to-read introduction into the history of printmaking; Ellen S. Jacobowitz and Stephanie L. Stepenak, The Prints of Lucas Van Leyden and His Contemporaries (1983), excellent documentation of the period; David Freedberg, Dutch Landscape Prints of the Seventeenth Century (1980); A. Hyatt Mayor, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1952), a fine biography of Piranesi with an excellent selection of illustrations; Wolf Stubbe, Graphic Arts of the Twentieth Century (1963; originally published in German, 1962), good introduction into the history of contemporary printmaking; James Watrous, American Printmaking (1984), covering 1880 to 1980; Una E. Johnson, American Prints and Printmakers (1980), a comprehensive study covering 1900–80; Karen F. Beall (comp.), American Prints in the Library of Congress (1970); E.S. Lumsden, The Art of Etching (1929, reprinted 1962), excellent document on the traditional etching techniques; Willi Kurth (ed.), The Complete Woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer (1946), primarily a picture book with historical background; Carl Zigrosser and Christa M. Gaehde, A Guide to the Collecting and Care of Original Prints (1965), a wealth of indispensable information for the collector; Stanley W. Hayter, About Prints (1962), challenging ideas about printmaking by an important artist and teacher; Richard T. Godfrey, Printmaking in Britain: A General History from Its Beginnings to the Present Day (1978); Leo C. Collins, Hercules Seghers (1953), an excellent, welldocumented book on one of the most important printmakers; Ludwig Münz, Rembrandt Etchings, 2 vol. (1949), interesting because it documents Rembrandt's influence as a teacher; K.G. Boon, Rembrandt: The Complete Etchings (1963, reissued 1978), one of the finest books on Rembrandt with excellent rich reproductions; Gabor Peterdi, Printmaking, rev. ed. (1971, reissued 1980), a simple but thorough book on both the traditional and experimental intaglio and woodcut methods; Redon, Moreau, Bresdin, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1961), primarily interesting for the Bresdin documentation; Carl W. Schraubstadter, Care and Repair of Japanese Prints, ACL ed. (1978), useful information for the collector; The Complete Etchings of Goya (1943), primarily a picture book; André Malraux, Saturne: An Essay on Goya (1957; originally published in French, 1950), a very subjective response to Goya by a great writer, richly illustrated; Maxime Lalanne, A Treatise on Etching (1880; trans. of 2nd French ed., 1878), primarily interesting as a historical document on technique; Frank and Dorothy Getlein, The Bite of the Print: Satire and Irony in Woodcuts, Engravings, Etchings, Lithographs and Serigraphs (1963), an interesting book highlighting the militant, political aspect of prints; Bernard S. Myers, The German Expressionists (1957), a good introduction to the history of German Expressionism, well illustrated; Jean Adhemar, Toulouse-Lautrec: His Complete Lithographs and Drypoints (1965; originally published in French, 1965), the definitive book on Toulouse-Lautrec as a printmaker; Michel Melot, Graphic Art of the Pre- Impressionists, trans. from the French (1981); Michael Knigin and Murray Zimiles, The Technique of Fine Art Lithography, rev. ed. (1977), an excellent, well-organized book on a complex subject; Joan Ludman and Lauris Mason (comps.), Print Reference: A Selected Bibliography of Print-Related Literature (1982), a classified bibliography of most English-language 20th-century works on the history, production, collecting, and care of fine prints.Gabor F. Peterdi

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • printmaking — print|mak|ing [ prınt,meıkıŋ ] noun uncount the art or process of making prints by pressing paper against a surface that has a raised design covered with ink ╾ print|mak|er noun count …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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