Teachers’ Resource PRINTMAKING - Courtauld Institute...

Teachers’ Resource PRINTMAKING Highlights from The Courtauld Gallery Collection

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Teachers’ Resource

PRINTMAKING Highlights from The Courtauld Gallery Collection

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Teachers’ ResourcePRINTMAKING: Highlights from The Courtauld Gallery Collection

Compiled and Produced by Helen Higgins and Sarah Green

Terms referred to in the glossary are marked in BLUE

To book a visit to the gallery or to discuss any of the education projects at The Courtauld Gallery please contact:e: [email protected]: 0207 848 1058

Unless otherwise stated, all images© The Samuel Courtauld Trust,The Courtauld Gallery, London

NB The print is made by the artist him/herself, unless the engraver or professional printer has been indicated

Typeset by JWD

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The Courtauld Institute of Art runs an exceptional programme of activities suitable for young people, school teachers and members of the public, whatever their age or background.

We offer resources which contribute to the understanding, knowledge and enjoyment of art history based upon the world-renowned art collection and the expertise of our students and scholars. I hope the material will prove to be both useful and inspiring.


This resource offers teachers and their students an opportunity to explore The Courtauld Gallery’s outstanding collection of prints. The gallery’s holding of some 24,000 prints prints spans more than 500 years and represents all of the major print making techniques. It enables us to consider the development of printmaking from the fifteenth century up to the present day and hopefully will inspire future engagement with the medium.

We hope teachers and educators of all subjects will use this pack to plan lessons, organise visits to The Courtauld Gallery and for their own professional development.


COVER IMAGE:Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)Pierrefort and Guiot, MarcelThe jockey1889Lithograph

THIS PAGE:Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 - 1778)Giovanni Bouchard (18th century) Smoking Fire 1749-1760Etching

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The Courtauld Gallery houses one of the most important collections of works on paper in Britain. This resource offers an introduction to the largest but least known part of the Gallery’s outstanding collection – its holding of prints which spans more than 500 years and represents all of the major printmaking techniques. It offers the opportunity to consider what distinguishes printmaking from other media, and to trace the development, the decline and the subsequent rival of printmaking techniques, in the works of artists such as Mantegna, Bruegel, Canaletto, Picasso, Matisse and Freud. The Courtauld’s prints collection is largely the result of a series of remarkable individual gifts. Rather than being an encyclopedic collection providing a complete history of the medium, it reflects the diverse and highly individual tastes and goals of three men who contributed to shaping it: Sir Robert Witt (1872-1952), Count Antoine Seilern (1901-1978) and Samuel Courtauld (1872-1947).

Highlights of the collection include Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna’s ambitious engraving of The Flagellation of Christ (around 1465-70), which powerfully reinvents this often-depicted Passion scene, forcing the viewer to empathetically participate in the shocking drama.

By contrast, the grand scale of a ten-part engraving after Michelangelo’s celebrated Last Judgment by French printmaker Nicolas Béatrizet demonstrates the ability of a print to reproduce a monumental work of art in spectacular fashion. Subjects of Christian iconography dominate fifteenth and sixteenth century printmaking, but from early on were complemented by secular topics, with printmakers catering for a demand amongst collectors for new imagery.

A superb example is Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Rabbit Hunt (1560); the only print executed by the artist himself and one of a group of master prints bequeathed to the collection by Count Antoine Seilern in 1978. Bruegel chose the etching technique: its relative freedom and ease is more closely comparable to drawing, allowing him to render the scene with remarkable naturalism.

1: INTRODUCTIONPrints from The Courtauld Gallery

Helen Higgins: Art Historian and Artist/Primntmaker

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Image (detail):Pieter the Elder Bruegel (ca. 1525-1569)Hieronymus Cock (ca.1510-1570) (Publisher)The Rabbit Hunt 1560

The possibilities of printmaking greatly expanded in subsequent centuries. Prints could record historical events such as battles or pageants, as in the exquisite etchings of Jacques Callot and Stefano della Bella. Canaletto’s views of eighteenth century Venice play wilful games with the city’s geography and are shown alongside the striking architectural inventions of his contemporary Piranesi.

The nineteenth century in France saw avant-garde artists embracing printmaking, with Edouard Manet’s homage to Old Masters, Paul Gauguin’s revival of the woodcut and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s brilliant adoption of the newer technique of lithography for his evocative depictions of Parisian entertainment such as his dynamic Jockey from Samuel Courtauld’s collection.

In the twentieth century Pablo Picasso’s and Henri Matisse’s tireless experimentation helped ensure the vitality of printmaking in the art of their time. The collection also includes prints by Lucian Freud, now widely acknowledged as a modern master of the medium, and with more recent work by Chris Ofili whose prints, both figurative and abstract, have continued to reinvent printmaking in the twenty-first century.

This resource pack aims to explore and celebrate the diversity of printmaking within The Courtauld Collection and invites audiences to consider the development of printmaking, the decline and subsequent renewal of techniques following the Industrial revolution and the continued reinvention of innovative printmaking techniques by practicing contemporary artists.


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Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your role at The Courtauld Gallery?

As assistant curator of works on paper I look after The Courtauld’s collection of some 24,000 prints, as well as helping my colleague Stephanie Buck, Curator of Drawings, to care for its outstanding collection of about 7000 drawings. Many people are not aware that the prints and drawings are part of The Courtauld Gallery – just like the paintings, sculptures and decorative arts. This is because the drawings and prints are not on permanent display in the museum: paper is a material which is particularly sensitive to light and needs special protection. The prints and drawings are stored in boxes and can be studied in the Print Study Room by students and scholars as well as the general public but also during rotating displays in the Gallery, and in special exhibitions and displays like Bruegel to Freud: Prints from The Courtauld Gallery (19 June – 21 September 2014). My role is to help ensure that the fragile works are not only kept and handled safely but that they can also be studied and enjoyed. In collaboration with my other colleagues in the Gallery I help devise displays and exhibitions, research and write catalogues and smaller publications and give Gallery tours and lectures. I also work closely with the students of The Courtauld Institute, particularly by helping train our Print Room assistants, all postgraduate students of The Courtauld. Over the last year and a half, I’ve also helped oversee a major cataloguing project of the prints, which will make them more accessible to students, scholars and the general public.

Q: Can you tell us about the process of putting together an exhibition?

For the exhibition Bruegel to Freud: Prints from The Courtauld Gallery (19 June – 21 September 2014) I had to select 30 works for display out of a possible 24,000. My aim was to give a sense of both the breadth and quality of the collection. The prints we hold range from the fifteenth century right up to the present day, so I wanted to include examples from all periods, as well as examples of as many of the major printmaking techniques as I could. At the same time, I sought to give a sense of the shape of the collection,

2. CURATOR’S QUESTIONSDr Rachel SloanAssistant Curator of Works on Paper

which has particular areas of strength. This is very much a function of the Gallery’s collection, as a whole, being essentially a collection of collections, so it tends to reflect the particular interests of the original donors. For example, thanks to Samuel Courtauld, we have very good holdings of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist prints, so I wanted to be sure to include a good selection of them. Count Antoine Seilern, on the other hand, was an astute collector of Old Master prints, and he assembled strong groups of work by particular artists. It wasn’t easy selecting single prints by Parmigianino, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Canaletto when there were so many fine ones to choose from.

At the same time, my aim was to capture a sense of the print collection’s nature as a university collection. The largest portion of the collection consists of prints originally kept in the Witt Library; these are prints that reproduce works of art in other media. Reproductive prints historically have not had the same prestige as ‘master prints’ (compositions conceived and executed by artists as original works of art rather than reproductions of works in other media) but at their best they can be works of great beauty, skill and interest, and you can’t really tell the history of art without them – before photography, they were the means by which knowledge of an artist’s work

was disseminated. So several examples are included, one of which is spectacular in every sense of the word – an engraving after Michelangelo’s Last Judgment that is so large it required ten plates.

One especially interesting theme emerged as I was making the selection – that, as well as inventing new techniques (such as lithography, which is a relative newcomer), artists have returned again and again to the same techniques over the centuries, reinventing them as they sought new possibilities. This is especially apparent in the etchings, which spanned almost the entire chronology of the show.

Q: Did you discover any interesting stories about any of these prints or about how they came into the Courtauld collection whilst you were researching the exhibition?

Perhaps the biggest surprise was an etching depicting the Virgin and Child by Jacques Bellange, a French Mannerist artist who worked at the court of Lorraine during the late Renaissance. It’s a remarkable print in itself as an example of Bellange’s highly individual and expressive style, and, furthermore, is also the only known impression of the first state of the etching (three states, or versions, are known to exist). For years this first state was referred to in the literature on Bellange as ‘known


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Q: Where are works on paper kept when they are not on display and how are they stored?

Paper is sensitive to light and changes in humidity, so prints cannot be kept on permanent display. We keep them in our Print Store in solander boxes, which protect them from light and provide a neutral environment. This also ensures that they’re accessible to anyone who visits our Print Study Room to view prints and drawings.

Q: What is your favourite method of printmaking and have you tried the technique yourself?

I’ve always loved the freedom and expressiveness of etching. I have in fact tried it myself – I took a printmaking course last year because I felt it was important for me to have direct personal experience of some of the major techniques. Making the design on the plate was itself fairly straightforward (it’s not much more difficult than drawing on paper with a pen), but there are many steps involved in biting and printing the plate and there’s potential for something to go wrong at every stage. It gave me a tremendous respect not just for artists who make prints but for everyone involved in the process, particularly master printers.

from a photograph in the Witt Library’. When some 20,000 prints were transferred from the Witt Library to the Courtauld Gallery in 1990, a very exciting discovery was made – the print itself had been in the Witt for decades! Moreover, the backing paper indicates that the print had entered an English collection in the eighteenth century.

Q: Do you have a favourite print in the collection and why?

It’s very hard to choose just one! In fact, I’m going to cheat and choose a series – Canaletto’s Views of Venice (image 2). Canaletto was a talented printmaker with a very distinctive style (he seems to have been self-taught), but what’s even more remarkable is that Views of Venice was both his first and his only print series. Although he made his name as a painter of real views of Venice, only a third of the prints in the series depict actual sites; the rest are imaginary views, or capricci, and there’s something wonderfully strange and mysterious about them that you won’t necessarily find in Canaletto’s paintings of recognisable places. They’re also brilliant on a technical level – for example, the way Canaletto used wavy, tightly-packed lines to create his skies perfectly captures the atmosphere of Venice in high summer, the air shimmering with heat and moisture.

Images:Canaletto1: Imaginary view of San Giacomo in Rialto, Venice2: L brary, Saint Mark's Square, VeniceCirca 1741-44

From a set of 36 etchings with 1 title page and 35 views of Venice, surrounding towns and imaginary landscapes.

Works from The Courtauld’s collection of works on paper can also be viewed by appointment in the Drawings & Prints Study Room.

The opening hours of the Study Room relate to The Courtauld’s academic terms. No appointment is necessary for individual visitors between 1.30pm and 4pm on Wednesdays when the Study Room is open on a drop-in basis.

Please see the website for further information: www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/collections/drawingsprints/visitus.shtml

Q: Does the Courtauld print collection include any of the original printing plates? What can these tell us about the artist’s working methods?

The collection has a very small number of original plates – they were given to us along with impressions of the prints taken from them by three contemporary artists who were commissioned to make prints for an exhibition held in the Gallery in 1999. Looking at a print and its plate side by side is fascinating. We can get a sense of how the artist envisioned the design and changed it as he or she created it – engraving or biting a line more deeply, or burnishing one out, for example.

Although the print collection here doesn’t contain any plates for Old Master prints, looking at them in other collections can also be very instructive. For instance, Rembrandt’s plates continued to be printed long after his death – if you look at a plate that was in continual use for centuries, you can see the way it wore down after going through the press hundreds of times and how later printers tried to refresh particularly worn areas by re-etching or re-engraving them.


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Living in a world saturated with reproduced images – in magazines, newspapers, on advertising hoardings, television and online - it is almost impossible to imagine a time in which images were unique. Prior to the fifteenth century however, images were rare and inaccessible to the general population; one-off images were found only in churches, or private residences of the very wealthy. It was in 1400, when the technology of printmaking first appeared, that it became possible to produce hundreds or perhaps thousands of identical images from a single plate (matrix), made from carved wood or metal. However, while early print technologies existed, printing only became viable with the increased production and affordability of paper.

This essay seeks to provide an overview of the developments in the history of printmaking – its decline and subsequent revival in the nineteenth century, as well as to consider how contemporary artists may use traditional printmaking in conjunction with and alongside cutting edge digital developments. For an explanation of the practical printing methods discussed, please refer to the glossary.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRINTMAKING TECHNIQUESAs repeatable images, from the beginning prints have functioned as tools of communication and education, whether by conveying information (scientific, historical, geographic and otherwise); disseminating knowledge of an artist’s oeuvre in the era before photographic reproduction; or serving as a means of artistic, moral or religious education.

The woodcut was the earliest printmaking method to emerge in Europe. As a relief technique, woodcuts could be printed easily in conjunction with moveable type. The invention of moveable type by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1450s had facilitated the production of the first printed books. As highly portable objects, books and prints could be transported across Europe, enabling an unprecedented dissemination of knowledge and ideas. Despite this potential for the multiplication of images, the print market was initially driven by the demand for printed playing cards and inexpensive devotional images bought at fairs and festivals, or by pilgrims

at shrines. Printmaking enabled the mass-production of images, which were accessible to all levels of society.

The early woodcuts were initially fairly crude, with simple lines and barely any attempt at shading, but as the quality of the paper improved, so too did the quality of the prints produced and the potential for the development of more sophisticated printmaking techniques. Whilst Jacopo de’Barbari’s Bird’s Eye View of Venice of 1500 (British Museum) is one of the most remarkable achievements of Renaissance printmaking, it was the German artist Albrecht Dürer who explored its expressive potential and transformed the art of the woodcut with numerous considerable technical achievements. In doing so Dürer liberated it from its service to book publishers. Traditionally the artist relied on a master craftsman to translate and transfer a design, but Dürer chose to draw directly on the blocks himself. This gave the artist closer contact with the resulting print and the potential for more complex, fluid lines. There is evidence that Titian adopted this simple innovation in Italy, where he used the woodcut to publicise his drawn inventions.

The start of the seventeenth century saw the collapse of the woodcut tradition


Helen Higgins: Art Historian and Artist/Primntmaker

across Europe - both for single sheet-prints and book illustrations - as metal engraving superseded the technique, allowing the artist to draw directly on the plate. Only occasional attempts to revive the woodcut are found to occur in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; between 1632 and 1636 Peter Paul Rubens employed Christoffel Jegher to cut nine high-quality woodblocks as a way of disseminating his work through the reproduction of his paintings (the paintings no longer survive) (Image 1). Rubens attached great importance to all of these reproductions, often correcting the working drawings himself – something that was usually done by the printmaker. He then obtained a copyright entitling him to publish them in the Netherlands as well as in France. However these were rare examples and the only woodcuts among the numerous prints issued from his studio. Woodcut was seen as inadequate for eighteenth-century requirements, and the commercial needs of the nineteenth century were fulfilled by wood-engraving. The woodcut was only taken up seriously again in France in the late nineteenth century.

INTAGLIO PRINTMAKING (ENGRAVING)By the middle of the fifteenth century intaglio (incised) prints were also being produced. The three intaglio methods in


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fur, cloth and stone. Durer’s closest rival was Lucas van Leyden, a Netherlandish artist whose earliest engravings are as remarkable for their unusual subject matter as for their graceful, skilled technique.

The Italian tradition developed slightly later, and independently of the North, with the earliest engraved examples found in Florence in the late 1440s. Italian prints were distinct from Northern engravings; artists achieved tone by hatching with parallel lines, they printed with brown ink, and their subject matter - astrological, mythological and poetic - was predominantly secular. The greatest figure at this time was Andrea Mantegna, whose meticulous engraving, The Flagellation of Christ (around 1465-70), is perhaps the most impressive demonstration of his artistic abilities and the result of extensive preparatory studies (Image 2). When compared with its related drawing, Flagellation demonstrates the transformation of Mantegna’s initial thoughts into dramatic narratives (Image 3). The dramatic power of his compositions exerted a widespread influence in Italy and North of the Alps.

use during the Renaissance were drypoint, engraving and etching, but engraving was by far the most popular. Engraving, the oldest and most laborious intaglio technique, is a highly skilled craft thought to have originated as a way for goldsmiths to keep a record of their designs. The earliest impressions on paper were made in Germany in the 1430s, half a century after the earliest woodcuts.

Engraving enabled artists to work directly onto the plate, rather than relying on a master craftsman to translate and transfer a design. It removed the gap between the artist’s original drawing and resulting print. The burin used to incise the metal provided artists with a tonal range; the greater the depth of the incised line, the darker it would print. Although the engraved prints of this time focused on religious subjects, it is also possible to see the emergence of an interest in secular themes. By the 1470s engraving was taken up in the North by painters such as Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer, whose fathers were both goldsmiths. Both artists’ astonishing and highly sophisticated engravings elevated the medium from a minor craft to a major art form. Schongauer is attributed with inventing the crosshatching technique as a means of providing volume and tone, and both artists’ works explore an incredible range of surface textures, such as wood,


PREVIOUS PAGEImage 1:Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)Christoffel Jegher (1596-1652) (wood-engraver)The Temptation of Christ1633Woodcut

THIS PAGEImage 2:Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506)The Flagellation of ChristAround 1465-1470Engraving

Image 3 (detail):Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506)Studies for Christ at the ColumnAround 1460Pen and ink on paper



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SIXTEENTH CENTURYBy the early sixteenth century, artists were fully exploiting the potential of the print medium, which had already played a decisive role in the development of the history of art. Prints provided a new means of exploring artists’ personal interests, be it in landscape, everyday life, or classical antiquity, whose revival during the Renaissance period was powered by prints spreading knowledge of ancient Roman sculpture and buildings across Europe – such as those published by Antoine Lafréry in his bound volumes of etchings and engraving, Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae [Mirror of Roman Magnificence] (1575) (Image 4). Collectors and tourists to Rome would buy prints from Lafreri and have their own selections individually bound. Lafreri’s title page became the starting point for large and eclectic combinations, expanded and reordered by subsequent generations of collectors.

Prints also conveyed information about new styles, as well as publicising the inventions of painters. The Italian engraver Marcantonio Raimondo - a significant figure well-known for making pirate copies of Dürer’s prints, to which Dürer objected upon his arrival in Italy - developed a technique that translated Raphael’s drawings into engravings without copying the painter’s marks. This was done with the intention of enhancing Raphael’s reputation as an intellectual artist.

ETCHING The intaglio technique of etching arrived seventy years after the invention of printing from engraved metal. Whilst engraving originated from the craft of goldsmithing, etching originated from the armourer’s trade in Germany, more specifically in Augsburg in the workshop of the armourer Daniel Hopfer. A technique that involves drawing with a pointed tool (etching needle) through a waxy acid-resistant ground on the printing plate, etching is far less laborious than the process of engraving which requires the artist to push the burin through the metal to make an incision in the plate. Any artist capable of drawing could therefore make an etching. In Germany artists used iron plates for etching which were prone to rusting. The acid was unpredictable and plates were susceptible to ‘foul-biting’. This may be the reason that Dürer was quick to abandon the process, having only attempted five etching plates. However, the method was adopted



shortly after by a number of the ‘Little Masters’ (known as such for the size of their plates), including Albrecht Altdorfer, whose etched landscapes triggered the beginnings of what was to become a long-standing relationship between etching and landscape.

In the Netherlands Lucas van Leyden, Dirk Vellert and others used etching as an easier way of achieving the effect of engraving, often combining both techniques on the same plate. Half a century later, when the technique had become more reliable, Pieter Bruegel executed his only etching, The Rabbit Hunt (1560) published by Hieronymus Cock (Image 6 - see section 1 for a larger image). The etching is thought to relate to an old proverb that warns: ‘He who pursues two rabbits at once, will lose both.’ Breugel exploited the spontaneity and freedom of etching, infusing the landscape with a vivid sense of light and atmosphere.

Heinrich Goltzius, one of the greatest Netherlandish engravers and print publishers of his day, was often praised for his ‘chameleon-like’ ability to create original works in the styles of earlier masters. Pieta (1596) (Image 5) shows the conscious imitation of Dürer’s engraving style. The arrangement of his figures is the result of an encounter with Michelangelo’s Pieta during a trip to Italy. Pieta exemplifies Goltzius’ virtuosic swelling and tapering calligraphic line, for which he is well known. Goltzius and his students represent the ‘last heroic age of engraving’; in the next century, while professionals would continue to employ the difficult and time-consuming method of engraving as a way of reproducing the artwork of others, the most talented artists would turn to the more easily mastered technique of etching.


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Although in Italy the first artist to attempt etching was Marcantonio Raimondi, it was Parmigianino, one of the most compulsive and prolific draughtsmen of the sixteenth century, who saw the potential of the etching process to reproduce the fluid lines of a sketch. Entombment can be read as a direct translation of his virtuosic drawing technique which was particularly admired and imitated in Italy, where draughtsmanship was an important measure of an artist’s genius (Image 7).

with engraving primarily used to reproduce paintings and sculpture, and for book illustration. It was the French draughtsman and printmaker Jacques Callot who most significantly furthered etching’s technical and aesthetic development at this time. One of the most prolific printmakers of the early modern period, Callot’s invention of a more resistant ground for copper plates reduced foul-biting and allowed a single plate to be repeatedly bitten in acid, thus enabling a greater range of line and tone. Callot preferred the échoppe to etching needles, as the oval-shaped tool created swelling and diminishing lines suggesting volumetric form and dynamic movement. Following Callot’s skilful developments, the search for new ways to introduce a broader range in tone led to the invention of the mezzotint; an intaglio technique that was to become popular in the eighteenth century as a means of reproducing and imitating oil painting. In the first few decades of the nineteenth century the artist J.M.W. Turner assembled a group of mezzotinters and line engravers to whom he would repeatedly commission to reproduce his paintings in print, such as Eddystone Lighthouse (1824) (Image 8). The accomplished result of Turner’s prints was largely due to his involvement at every stage of the process; he frequently annotated proof impressions with numerous amendments, instructions, and diagrams, in order to ensure the resulting prints were executed to his exacting standards.

The international reputation of the Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn was largely established through his etchings, which stand as a landmark in the history of printmaking. As an immensely skilled draughtsman, Rembrandt was able to push the spontaneous potential of the etching process to its limits. The loose, squiggly marks evident in his etching entitled Three oriental figures (1641) (Image 9) demonstrates the highly improvised way in which he worked, often directly from observation immediately onto the plate; and in his haste Rembrandt had forgotten to reverse his signature. A similar freedom and fluidity of line is evident in his drawing of the same year entitled Two Men in Discussion, which is of a similar subject

The middle of the century saw a parting of the two techniques; artists who sought to create original designs in intaglio used etching, while engraving was to become the domain of the reproductive specialist. However, from the eighteenth century the reproductive engraver often combined etching and engraving, making it difficult to draw a distinction between the histories of both techniques.

SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the ‘golden age’ of etching. It became the preferred medium of painters and innovative printmakers all across Europe,

PREVIOUS PAGEImage 4:Antoine Lafréry (1512 - 1577) (publisher)Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae 1575Bound volume of etchings and engravingsPrintmaker: various (not all known by name)

Image 5:Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617)Pieta1596Engraving

Image 6:Pieter the Elder Bruegel (ca. 1525-1569)Hieronymus Cock (ca.1510-1570) (Publisher)The Rabbit Hunt 1560




THIS PAGEImage 7:Parmigianino (1503-1540) Entombment 16th centuryEtching

Image 8:J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851)Thomas G. Lupton (1791-1873) (Platemaker)W.B. Cook (Publisher)Eddystone Lighthouse1824Mezzotint Engraving

Image 9 (detail):Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669)Three Oriental Figures1641Etching


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matter (Image 10). By comparing the two it becomes apparent that the etching process allowed Rembrandt to capture a moment in time through print as he would in drawing. The increasing use of drypoint to create a broad range of tones and accent the outlines of figures in his later etchings shows that Rembrandt handled the drypoint needle in much the same manner as a reed pen. Rembrandt printed his own etchings and treated the inking process in a particularly painterly manner, exploring

the effects created by wiping the plate differently for each impression.

It was in Italy that etching reached its highest development in the eighteenth century, and specifically in the Veneto, where the medium was employed by a number of distinguished artists, including the Italian painter, Canaletto. In the early 1740s Canaletto produced a series of etchings of imaginary views (vedute) of Venice in his own highly individual and

self-taught etching style (Image 11). At the same time the Venetian artist, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, returned to Venice and employed etching as a way of realising his architectural fantasies. Piranesi, whose father was a stonemason and master builder, had always considered himself an architect: ‘If I were commissioned to design a new universe, I would be mad enough to undertake it.’ Piranesi’s Carceri (prison) etchings are a powerful series of imaginary constructions (Image 12 - see inside cover for larger image). They demonstrate his immense skill in improvising directly on the plate, which was aided by his exceptional memory. Etching allowed Piranesi to create great contrasts in light and darkness through his mark making and experiments with the tonal distribution of ink during the printing process. His approach to etching was essentially painterly, particularly under the influence of Tiepolo in the mid 1470s, who was also working in Venice on a distinctive series of etchings, the Scherzi and the Capricci (Image 13). Tieopolo’s delicate and powerfully inventive prints enjoyed wide-spread fame and their dreamlike and sometimes disturbing imagery may have influenced Francisco Goya.



Goya is considered as one of the most talented etchers ever to have worked in the medium; Los Caprichos (Caprices) (1799), a series of eighty technically advanced etchings of a satirical nature and produced for public consumption, sought to critique what Goya described as the ‘innumerable follies found in any civilized society’. In these works he exploits the new medium of aquatint, which lends a haunting darkness and sense of drama to his images, and gives his didactic messages a distinctly mysterious quality;



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the freedom and urgency of his aquatints matched the impulsive nature of his drawing. Like Goya, the English painter and engraver William Hogarth was concerned with the production of art as a means of condemning the corruption of modern society. Before, and After (1736) (Images 14 and 15) are two reproductive engravings made after his satirical paintings of the same name (1730-1). Hogarth composed his paintings with the engravings in mind, consciously reversing the composition so that the resulting engravings read like novels; the audience can follow the narrative – a critique on social deviancy and sexual excess - from left to right. It was remarkably rare for an artist to produce reproductive prints of his own paintings.

PREVIOUS PAGEImage 10:Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669)Two Men in Discussion1641Quill and reed pen in brown ink with corrections in white bodycolour (darkened) on laid paper

Image 11:Canaletto (1697-1768)Portico with lanternc.1741-44Etching

Image 12:Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 - 1778)Giovanni Bouchard (18th century) Smoking Fire 1749-1760Etching

Image 13:Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)Anton Maria, I Zanetti (1680 - 1757) PublisherDeath giving audience (From ‘Vari Capricci’)1743Etching

THIS PAGEWilliam Hogarth (1697 - 1764) (Artist, Engraver, and publisher)

Image 14:Before1736Engraving

Image 15:After1736Engraving




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PRINTMAKING IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURYIn the wake of the Industrial Revolution, there was an exponential increase in the production of pictures. Printed images could be found everywhere, circulated in newspapers, magazines, journals and books. Whilst copperplate engravings and etchings had been employed to illustrate eighteenth century publications, the nineteenth century saw a wide range of new techniques such as lithography, wood engraving and new photomechanical means of reproduction, which became dominant as the century progressed.

LITHOGRAPHYThe invention of lithography by Alois Senefelder in 1798 enabled the production of extremely large editions of prints, taken from a single drawing made on a block of limestone. It provided artists with the most direct means of creating multiple images from a drawing. By 1820 lithography had a very strong presence in France, becoming an increasingly appealing medium for artists such as Delacroix and Géricault. The popular press soon exploited its commercial possibilities; journals such as the Parisian Charivari featured daily lithographs by the caricaturist Honoré Daumier. By the 1870s artists such as Odilon Redon and Edgar Degas produced lithographs with the hope of reaching a wider audience. Advertising was revolutionised in the 1880s and 1890s by the invention of colour lithography and the production of large-scale striking mural posters by artists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec’s short career coincided with two major developments in late nineteenth century Paris; the birth of modern printmaking and the explosion of Parisian nightlife - the subject of which occupies almost all of Lautrec’s work. Lautrec favoured lithography because of its ability to mass-produce prints inexpensively and quickly; he often drew directly onto the lithographic stone, without the use of specially prepared transfer paper.

The Jockey (Image 16 - see cover for larger image) reveals a childhood fascination with horses, a subject continued throughout his career. His novel asymmetric composition and depiction of movement by abrupt




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cropping was influenced by the success of photography and a growing admiration for Japanese prints. It is evident that his drawings and paintings are preparatory sketches for his prints. By adopting colour lithography and poster art as main mediums for his artwork, Lautrec single-handedly elevated their standing to the status of high art. Lithography was not only confined to Parisian advertising, it became the primary means through which revolutions were orchestrated. Lithographic posters served the revolutionary needs in Russia – with the Russian Telegraph Agency ROSTA posters – as well as in China and Cuba.

THE ETCHING REVIVALThe relief method of wood-engraving enabled far larger editions than woodcut or engraving, as a result of being carved from durable hard-wood blocks. Easily inked and printed with letterpress type, wood-engraving became commonly used for illustrated newspapers and books. However, as publishers looked forward, artists began to look backwards. As if to revolt against the rise in mass-produced images, many artists, including James McNeil Whistler, took part in The Etching Revival. Artists adopted new techniques to reach a new and growing audience of art collectors. Despite the perception that the graphic arts were too precise and laborious to be able to fulfil Impressionists' aims of capturing the atmospheric effects of weather and light, artists such as Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, explored the potential of etching, aquatint, monotype and lithography. La Toilette (1862), displays Manet’s homage to Old Masters in his search for a new means of representing a nude. He augments the sense of surprise by spotlighting the bather with a richly etched interior (Image 17). The drawing La Toilette bears the physical evidence of the transfer process from paper to copper plate (Image 18). Laying


”PREVIOUS PAGEImage 16:Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)Pierrefort and Guiot, MarcelThe jockey1889Lithograph

Image 17:Edouard Manet (1832 - 1883)La toilette - woman washing herself1862Etching

Image 18:Édouard ManetLa Toilette 1860Red chalk, contours incised for transfer

THIS PAGEImage 19:Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) (wood engraver) Pola (Paul) Gauguin (1883 - 1961) (printer) Hos Chr.Kato, Copenhagen (publisher)Auti Te Pape (The Women at the River)1893-4Wood Engraving

the drawing face down on the plate, Manet pressed on the outlines of the bather to transfer the chalk to the prepared surface. In certain places, the point of the stylus cut through the figure’s contours, breaking the paper. With the bather transferred (in reverse) to the plate, Manet continued to develop the image.

Degas also explored natural and artificial lighting at night through experimental monotypes created by printing images on paper that he had executed in ink on sheets of glass or metal. Degas’ prints - in etching, aquatint and monotype - reveal his thought processes and provide an insight into how he refined his visual ideas and developed a composition.

THE REVIVAL OF WOODCUT: PAUL GAUGUINThe arrival of Japanese prints in Europe in the 1860s, following the reopening of trade routes between Europe and Japan in 1854, had a great impact on early Impressionists such as Degas, Manet, and Monet, and Post-Impressionist artists such as Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. The compositions, techniques, and everyday subjects, characteristic of ukiyo-e woodcuts, are visible in the carved block prints of Paul Gauguin (Image 19). Having returned to Paris from his first voyage to Tahiti in 1893, Gauguin intended to create an illustrated publication that would provide European viewers with insights into the customs and spiritual life of Tahiti. Having had no formal training in the graphic arts, Gauguin employed unconventional tools and treated the woodblock almost like a low relief sculpture, using a process that combined carving, drawing and printmaking in a truly innovative way.

Throughout the nineteenth century prints were considered secondary to painting, influenced by the French art establishment. In the 1860s and 1870s,

new photomechanical processes even threatened to dominate reproductive printmaking. It was only after print media had averted the threat of photography, by emphasising the hand-crafted quality of ‘original’ prints over their reproductive function, that the graphic arts became established as a reputable artistic genre.


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TWENTIETH AND TWENTY-FIRST CENTURIESThe experimental approach that originated with the Impressionists, accelerated in the twentieth century, along with the unprecedented popularity of etching. The new styles and directions that surfaced with a staggering speed made the first half of the twentieth century one of the most exciting periods in the history of art. France continued to dominate the art world, with its creative environment attracting young artists from other countries, like the Spaniard Pablo Picasso, whose tireless experimentation in a variety of print media - along with that of Henri Matisse - helped ensure the vitality of printmaking in the art of their age (Image 20). At the same time, Germany once again became a vital artistic centre. German Expressionism and later the Bauhaus school produced a number of distinguished artists, and eventually exerted international influence. The century saw a development of a more public role for prints as a result of the increase in affordable processes.

GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM: REVIVAL OF THE WOODCUTThe history of modern print in Germany essentially began with the work of the Symbolist painter Max Klinger, whose etchings formed a fundamental part of his work. The subsequent development of Expressionism saw the adoption of the woodcut for expressive means; the physical act of cutting into the resistant surface of wood became a metaphor for artist’s ‘primitive, violent vision’. The astonishing output of woodcuts from the Brücke group, along with the work of Der Blaue Reiter, is seen as one of the turning points in the history of printmaking. It was the first time in its 500-year history that the print looked the direct product of the immediate creative impulse.

THE BAUHAUS IN WEIMAR Equipped with facilities for etching, lithography, and woodcut, the Bauhaus in Weimar functioned as training-ground in printmaking and a place of experimentation for its staff and students. Between 1921-4 it received important commissions for portfolios of international artist’s prints; their sales were expected to profit the Bauhaus. However, economic and political climates had a great impact on printmaking all across Europe, and the venture succumbed to the catastrophic inflation in Germany between 1922-3. This resulted in the abandonment of lithography by artists such as Oskar Kokoschka, El Lissitzky, Lazlo Maholy-Nagy and Kurt Schwitters. The exhaustion of the Expressionist tradition was another reason for its decline. When the Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1925 the print workshop contained new mechanical presses and moveable type. It catered for Constructivist artists interested in advertising and typographical design, and to Dada artists working with photomontage. Photography was also promoted vigorously by Maholy-Nagy.

THE POSTWAR PRINT IN BRITAIN AND AMERICAIt is perhaps surprising that the most significant influence on the future of British printmaking in the 1930s and 40s

came from the art of the poster. London Transport, British Petroleum, and Shell-Mex, both sponsored and commissioned designs by many of the leading artists of the 1930s, such as Paul Nash, John Piper, Ben Nicholson and Graham Sutherland. In the 1940s and 50s Mrs Rawnsley’s much-loved 'School Prints Project' provided schools with original lithographs by contemporary artists including Braque, Picasso, Leger, Moore and Matisse. For many this was their introduction to modern art. Monotype also enjoyed a revival among British artists, as it did not require special equipment or reliance on a publisher. However, by this time many of the most inventive and experimental British printmakers had moved to France, such as the pioneering and innovative Stanley William Hayter. In 1940, Hayter arrived in New York from Paris, where he had set up an experimental print workshop called Atelier 17 and introduced avant-garde artists such as the Surrealists Joan Miro, Hans Arp and Yves Tanguy to the potential of printmaking. Hayter quickly established a second Atelier 17 in New York, which focused on original and intaglio printmaking techniques and attracted numerous artists, including Abstract Expressionists Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, particularly as a result of lithography’s direct, gestural and expressive potential. This development led to a major


Image 20

THIS PAGEImage 20:Henri Matisse (1869-1954)Seated nude woman, with tulle blouse1925Lithograph© Succession H. Matisse/ DACS 2014

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shift in printmaking, and the rise in print-workshops in the 1960s and 70s. Print Workshops such as Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) encouraged artists like Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to explore the full potential of print and produce works that promoted its innovative artistic expression. In the UK, workshops such as Kelpra Studio and the Curwen Press functioned in much the same way and collaborated with some of Britain's most well-known and international artists, such as Bridget Riley, Edouardo Paolozzi, John Piper, Victor Pasmore, R.B. Kitaj, Patrick Caulfield, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and John Piper. In Britain and America, etching suffered with the popularity of screenprinting and lithography, but remained visible in the work of David Hockey and Jim Dine.

This placed print, for the first time, alongside painting and sculpture as a primary means of expression. Pop artists, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, turned to commercial printmaking techniques. They appropriated the silkscreen print and off-set lithography and combined them with large-scale paintings and installations. As a result, print is now seen as an integral part of many artists’ work, rather than a peripheral activity.

CONTEMPORARY PRINTSince the print explosion in the 1960s, artists continue to be attracted by the diverse techniques, processes, and theoretical implications associated with printmaking. Initially however, experiments into the potential of new digital technology to function as a graphic tool proved problematic, because computers were rare and only available in research institutions and artists had to rely on the technical skills of a computer programmer to realise their ideas. Richard Hamilton was one of the first artists to take advantage of the potential for digital printmaking. His work not only raised questions about the longevity of digital prints due to fading inks, it restored general interest in experimental printmaking. Digital prints could be created on demand, rather than an artist having to produce a full edition in one go, as well as existing as a high-resolution digital file that could be printed onto any surface. These developments blurred the boundaries between printmaking and photography and brought into question what might constitute a print.

However, in addition to inventing new techniques, artists have returned repeatedly to the same techniques over the centuries, reinventing them as they sought new possibilities. This is especially apparent


in etching. Lucian Freud is now widely acknowledged, along with Picasso, as a modern master of the etching medium. His unusually large and monumental female nude Blond Girl (1985) is the result of weeks or months of complete concentration and unflinching observations of the model posed in his studio, from which he worked directly onto the traditionally prepared etching plate (Image 21). Freud relished the process and embraced what he called etching’s ‘danger and mystery. You don’t know how it’s going to come out. What’s black is white. What’s left is right.’

Linda Karshan also works directly onto the etching plate. Her prints and drawings derive from simple procedures of rhythmic repetition, creating grids, rows and stacks. Minimal in their means and appearance, they are charged with an intuitive energy. Karshan’s choreography of mark-making is ‘tinged with magic’; there is an absorbing delicacy and richness about her ‘verticals’ or ‘horizontals’ (or combinations of the two) in N.E.I. (2002) (Image 22). These marks become a personal form of serial notation for the artist; created in response to what she calls a ‘kind of internal metronome’.


THIS PAGEImage 21:Lucian Freud (1922 - 2011)Blonde Girl1985EtchingThe Courtauld Gallery, LondonFrank Auerbach Gift, 2012© Lucian Freud Archive/Bridgeman Art Library

Image 22:Linda Karshan (b.1947)Jean-Yves Noblet Contemporary Prints, New York N.E.I2002Etching© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London/courtesy of the artist.


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Exploring movement in a very different way, Chris Ofili’s Penrhyndeudraeth 16.9.96 (1996) is one of a series of prints forming visual diaries of his travels to Barcelona, Berlin, New York and North Wales (Image 23). On each trip Ofili took a set of copper etching plates with him, and, working methodically, used a different abstract pattern related to his impressions of that particular place; a project that Ofili called ‘an odd kind of tourism’. Returning from his trip, the artist would oversee the etching and printing of his plates at the Paragon Press, thus demonstrating the continuing relationship between artist and publisher in the twenty-first century.

Once confined by the limitations of traditional print techniques, artists today have an almost infinite means of achieving a desired outcome, not least with the latest advances in new digital technologies, as demonstrated by the artist and pioneer of digital printmaking, Paul Coldwell. Although perceived by some as a threat to the future of printmaking, this new media

WRITTEN BYHelen Higgins: Art Historian and Artist/Primntmaker

FURTHER READINGFor in-depth explanations of printmaking terminology see:

Antony Griffiths Prints and Printmaking, an Introduction to the History and TechniquesBritish Museum Publications, London 1980

THIS PAGEImage 23:Chris Ofili (b. 1968)Paragon PressPenrhyndeudraeth 16.9.96 1996Etching© Chris Ofili and The Paragon Press, London


has extended the possibilities and potential of the medium rather than simply replacing traditional methods. Contemporary artists are working in ways that considerably expand the medium, whilst questioning the circumstances for viewing and collecting prints. These innovations prompt the question – what is a print? The term now embraces almost anything; from the subversive stencilled graffiti of Banksy, to labels on beer bottles, manipulated found materials, ‘Art Everywhere’ – across 22,000 poster sites and billboards in the UK, a canvas bag designed by Jeremy Deller for the Venice Biennale (2013), inkjet prints on cakes and biscuits, and printed vinyl designed for installations and live art performances. Dynamic and democratic, printmaking has invited all manner of media in recent years, and artists and critics now treat it with more seriousness. As a result of its versatile and hybrid nature, as well as its speed in adapting to technological change, the print could even claim to be defining the territory of contemporary art practice.


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ABSTRACT: The style of simplifying recognisable objects into geometric shapes, colours, or other non-representational forms.

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM: An American post-war art movement which developed in New York in the early 1940s by a small group of loosely affiliated artists including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman. The Abstract Expressionists created a stylistically diverse body of work that introduced radical new directions in art - and shifted the art world's focus. They broke away from accepted conventions in both technique and subject matter, and made monumental works that stood as reflections of their individual psyches. These artists valued spontaneity and improvisation, and they accorded the highest importance to process; their imagery was primarily abstract.

ACID: Used in the etching process to corrode the surface of a metal printing plate. The type of acid required to etch a plate varies with the metal used.

ALBUM: Collectors in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries nearly always kept their prints pasted into albums. In the eighteenth century these were generally mounted onto card and arranged in portfolios.

ALLEGORY: A narrative composition in all the elements is designed to symbolise or illustrate a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

ANTIQUITY: The ancient past, especially the period of classical and other human civilisations before the Middle Ages.

AQUATINT: An etching technique by which finely textured areas of tone are created by fusing powdered resin to the plate and etching it. The acid pools around each grain of dust – the longer it is left in the acid the deeper it will bite the plate and the darker the resulting tone when inked and printed. Aquatint was invented by the printmaker Jan van de Velde around 1650 in Amsterdam. English artist Paul Sandby coined the term aquatint to recognize the medium’s capacity to create the effects of ink or watercolour washes.

ARTIST’S PROOF: An impression taken by an artist at the start of (or during) an edition of prints, set aside for the artist’s use.

BAUHAUS: An art school in Germany that was founded in Weimar by Walter Gropius, with the idea of creating a ‘total’ work of art which would bring all arts, architecture and crafts together to create a complete modernism

in design. The Bauhaus operated from 1919-1933; it had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography.

BITE: During the etching process the acid eats into or ‘bites’ the surface of the metal plate, creating a channel in which the ink can sit. (See also, ‘foul-bite’)

BURIN: The primary tool used in the engraving process. It has a long metal shaft with an angled lozenge-shaped tip that carves a V-shaped groove into the metal plate. The displaced metal is cut away, leaving a clean channel in which the ink can sit.

BURR: The ridge of metal thrown up by the drypoint needle. Burrs hold a generous amount of ink, resulting in characteristically rich, velvety lines. They are fragile and wear quickly under the pressure of the printing press, resulting in small drypoint editions.

CAPRICE: French for ‘whim’. A subject used by artists from classical antiquity to the fifteenth century. Goya’s use of the term acknowledges his art historical precedents, especially in the work of Botticelli, Dürer, Tiepolo, and Piranesi.

CHIAROSCURO WOODCUT: The chiaroscuro method was used to create the first colour prints that make dramatic use of light (chairo) and dark (scuro). It was invented by Hans Burgkmair in 1509.

CLASSICAL: Relating to or inspired by ancient Greek or Roman literature, art or culture. The classical period is hard to define, but often is taken to begin with the earliest poetry of Homer, around the 7th-8th century BC, and to end with the rise of Christianity and decline of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.

COMPOSITION: The placement or arrangement of visual elements in a work of art.

CONNOISSEUR: A person with a great deal of knowledge in a particular subject area, often considered to be an expert judge of taste in that area.

CONSTRUCTIVISM: An artistic and architectural philosophy that aimed to use abstraction for social purposes. It originated in Russia around 1919 with artists such as Naum Gabo, and greatly inspired abstraction in Britain.

CROSS-HATCHING: An artistic technique used to create tonal or shading effects by drawing a series of closely spaced parallel lines (often in opposing directions).

CURATOR: A person who is responsible for the permanent collection and/or temporary exhibitions of a museum or gallery, taking responsibility for caring for the collection and choosing which artworks to hang, and how.

CURWEN PRESS: Curwen Press was first established in 1863, dedicated to printing illustrated books. In 1958 the Curwen Studio was set up in order to allow for the production of artists’ original prints. It specialised in the technique of lithography under the expert guidance of Stanley Jones and continues to operate today. It has collaborated with many well-known artists, such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Elisabeth Frink, Alan Davie, Man Ray, Ceri Richards and David Hockney; more recently they have produced work for artists including Paula Rego, Ana Maria Pacheco, Peter Blake and Ian McKeever.

DABBER: A leather pad with a wooden handle that is used in intaglio processes (engraving, etching, aquatint) to push the printing ink into the incised lines.

DADA: A movement of art, literature, and performance that aimed to create anti-art. It rebelled against previous artistic conventions and is famous for the use of ‘found objects’ pioneered by the artist Marcel Duchamp. Artists included Kurt Schwitters, Hans Arp, George Grosz and Hannah Höch.

DER BLAUE REITER (THE BLUE RIDER): An association of painters formed in 1911 in Munich and led by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc.

DIE BRÜCKE (THE BRIDGE): A group of German expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905 who had a major impact of the creation of Expressionism. It was founded by four architecture students: Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirschner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Later members were Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller.

DRYPOINT: An intaglio process similar to etching, except that the line is scratched directly into the plate using a sharp needle instead of bitten by acid.

ÉCHOPPE: An oval-shaped tool which when drawn into metal creates swelling and diminishing lines.

EDITION: A number of identical impressions printed from the same printing plate. The number of prints can vary due to the nature of the printing process; for example copper plates will wear quicker than steel. The edition is usually limited by the artist or publisher. The edition size and number of the impression are normally written in pencil in the bottom


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the late 15th century. To make an etching a waxy, acid-resistant ‘ground’ is applied to a flat metal plate. The artist draws with an etching needle through the wax layer, exposing the metal plate below. The plate is then submerged in a bath of acid which ‘bites’ into the metal along the lines exposed by the needle. Once the incisions are deep enough, the plate is removed from the acid bath. After cleaning off the ground with a solvent, the plate is inked up in the same way as an engraving. The choice of paper used can drastically affect the appearance of the print.

EXPRESSIONISM: Closely associated with German and Austrian artists of the early 20th century, the term was first applied in relation to the new French art which appeared to be the opposite of Impressionism. A style characterised by distorted forms and vibrant colour depicting inner emotions, and with increasing elements of abstraction.

FOUL-BITING: Acid accidentally penetrating the ground to the copper in the process of etching causing unintentional and unwanted incisions. Foul-biting was particularly common in earlier etching experiments, when the acid was more unpredictable and the ground less reliable and prone to weakening.

GENRE: In general use, meaning a type of subject matter in painting.

GOUGE: Tools used in the woodcut process to cut away areas of the woodblock.

GRAVER: A tool (almost identical to a burin) that is used to carve into the block in the process of wood-engraving.

GROUND (ETCHING): An acid-resistant wax-based substance used to coat an etching plate, through which an image is drawn with relative ease.

IMPRESSION: A copy of a print which has been printed from the same plate, usually at the same time. Impressions of the same print can be compared in order to gauge the differences in the quality of print, colour and condition.

print margin by the artist; the upper number indicates the number of the impression, whilst the bottom number represents the edition size (e.g. a print marked 4/50 is the fourth of fifty images in the edition).

ENGRAVING: The oldest intaglio technique developed in the fifteenth century - probably as a result of Goldsmith’s wish to keep a record of their designs. Lines are laboriously cut into the metal plate (usually copper) using a v-shaped metal tool called a burin (or ‘graver’). The curls of metal thrown up in front of the v-shaped groove are removed with a scraper. The plate is inked so that the ink remains only in the incised lines and the surface of the plate is wiped clean. A sheet of paper is then laid over the plate and both are run through a press under great pressure, forcing the paper into the grooves to pull the ink out. (The art of incising into metal stretches back as far as antiquity. It was used by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans to decorate the back of bronze mirrors and thrived in the Middle Ages as a method of decorating gold and silver.) Whilst engraving extended the graphic language of woodcut, one disadvantage was that it could not withstand large numbers of printings, the plate wearing down more quickly and producing less rich images.

ETCHING: An intaglio technique first developed as a way to decorate armour in

THIS PAGE:Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)Anton Maria, I Zanetti (1680 - 1757) PublisherDeath giving audience (From ‘Vari Capricci’)1743Etching

OVERLEAF:Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669)Three Oriental Figures1641Etching

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IMPRESSIONISM: A nineteenth century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists who chose to break away from the traditional style of painting taught at the Fine Art school (École des Beaux Arts). The name came from the title of Monet’s 1873 painting Impression, Sunrise, shown at the first group show in 1874. The artists involved were interested in depicting their impression of the world around them, from landscapes to modern social activity, often in a style that was considered sketchy.

INK (PRINTING): Printing ink is an oil-based liquid, completely different from the water-based fluid used for writing. It is thought to have been developed by Johannes Gutenberg and was vital in the success of his invention of the printing press and moveable type. The ink is made by finely grinding lamp black (soot) with a müller and mixing it with oil. Relief ink contains less oil than intaglio ink in order to form a stiff consistency for printing, so it doesn’t flow into the recesses. Lithographic ink must contain grease to resist the water – the key principle in lithography. Screenprinting ink can be nearly any substance that is able to pass through the mesh of the screen and stick to the paper.

INTAGLIO: The technique of carving into – or incising – a surface to produce a design for printing; common to engraving, etching and drypoint.

KELPRA STUDIO: Kelpra Studio was established by Rose and Chris Prater in the late 1950s. As a print workshop dedicated to the comparatively modern technique of screenprinting, it was pivotal in the development of the medium throughout the 1960s and 1970s and became a focal point for some of Britain's most well-known and international artists, including Richard Hamilton, Bridget Riley, Edouardo Paolozzi, Patrick Caulfield, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron and Peter Blake. In 1975 Kelpra generously donated a copy of every print ever produced to Tate. They can be viewed in Tate’s Prints and Drawings Room (by appointment).

LITHOGRAPHY: A planographic (surface) printmaking process invented in 1798 by German actor and writer Aloys Senefelder. Lithography is based on the chemical fact that grease and water repel each other. To make a lithograph an artist draws an image directly onto a smooth surface (originally a slab of limestone, most recently a zinc plate) using oil-based lithographic crayons or a greasy ink called tusche. The stone is then wiped with a chemical solution, causing the image to attract the greasy printers ink. This is followed with a solvent used to dissolve most of the original drawing and ‘fix’ the image to the stone. Once the image is complete the surface of the stone is flooded with water, saturating everything except where the design has been drawn – because the greasy ink repels the water. Printing ink is applied with a roller; the ink from the roller sticks to the ink already on the stone, but not on the surrounding wet areas which repel it. The image is printed by laying a sheet of paper on the top and running both through the press.

LITTLE MASTERS: A group of German printmakers who worked in the first half of the sixteenth century, primarily in engraving. They specialised in very small finely detailed prints– hence their name ‘Little Masters’. The group included Hans Sebald Beham, Heinrich Aldegrever and Albrect Altdorfer, among others.

MATRIX: The flat surface used to hold the ink (image) to create a print, whether it is a metal

plate in intaglio processes, such as engraving and etching, or a woodblock used for relief processes, such as woodcut and wood-engraving. In digital printing it can also be used to describe the original digital file from which an image is printed.

MEDIUM: The material or technique with which an artist works.

MEZZOTINT: A type of tonal engraving dating from the 17th century. To make a mezzotint, the surface of the metal plate is roughened so it holds ink. The rougher the plate, the more ink is retained, creating an overall dense black. Lighter areas are created by burnishing areas of the plate until they are smooth and no longer hold ink. In comparison with line engraving, a much greater range of tones can be achieved with a mezzotint. Mezzotint was often the preferred technique for reproducing paintings, as it was possible to closely imitate the variety of tone and texture of oil paint.

MONOTYPE: Invented by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione in 1643; A printmaking process in which the artist draws or paints an image on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The image is transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together. A monotype is a unique, non-repeatable print.

MOVEABLE TYPE: The system of printing and typography, invented by Johannes Gutenberg sometime between 1439-50, that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document (usually individual letters or punctuation).

MYTHOLOGICAL: Subjects relating to, based on, or appearing in myths or mythology. Mythology is a collection of myths belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.

MÜLLER: A stone or glass heavyweight used for grinding pigments or other materials on a flat slab.

OFFSET: The image is printed from a lithographic stone onto a roller, which is then printed onto the paper. This enables the fast production of large editions and prints the image onto the paper exactly as it is on the stone – rather than being reversed.

OLD MASTER PRINT: ‘Old Master’ is a term for a European painter of skill who worked before 1800, or a painting by such a painter. ‘Old Master Print’ describes a composition conceived and executed by an artist as an original work of art, rather than a reproduction of works in other media.

OUVRE: An artist’s body of work.

PAPER: A vital material in the development of printmaking. Paper has been manufactured in Italy since around 1270, although it was imported into Europe several centuries before. The first paper mills were constructed in Fabriano, Italy in 1276 and reached Germany by the 1390s – about the time when woodcut printmaking was transferred from fabric to paper. The early production of (rag-based) paper relied on recycled fibres (cotton and linen ‘rags’) and raw materials from the local textile industry. However it was

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many years until paper was widely used as it was considered inferior to the animal skin parchment (vellum) used for manuscripts. As the quality of paper improved, so too did the detail with which an image could be printed. Paper as we know it today, is mostly produced from bleached wood pulp and is a cheap, mass-produced material. Rag-based paper is still produced but is expensive and tends to be used mostly by artists or specialist publishers.

PARAGON PRESS: The Paragon Press was founded by Charles Booth-Clibborn and launched in 1986. It has since published over one hundred projects involving some of the most renowned contemporary artists, including George Baselitz, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Grayson Perry, George Shaw, Anish Kapoor, Michael Landy, and Rachel Whiteread.

PHOTOMECHANICAL PROCESSES: It became possible to transfer a black line drawing onto a relief block by photographic means as early as the 1880s. Today there are a wide variety of processes involving the transfer of a photographic image to a printing matrix, such as an etching plate, relief block, or a lithographic stone. The means of transferring the image are often complex, and can involve such techniques as etching photosensitized plates or electrotyping light-sensitive gelatin plates.

PHOTOMONTAGE: The process of making a photograph by cutting and joining two or more photographs to create the illusion of an unreal subject. In Germany, it was employed by George Grosz, Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters, among others. At the same time, Russian Constructivist artists, such as Lissitzky, Rodchenko and Klutsis were creating pioneering photomontages as propaganda for the Soviet government.

PIETA: Meaning pity, or compassion – a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. Michelangelo’s Pietà (1498–1499) is a world-renowned work of Renaissance sculpture which is housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

PIGMENT: A substance often a dry powder, used for colouring or painting which when mixed with oil, water, or another medium constitutes a paint or ink.

PLATE: A flat surface used to create an image that can be printed.

PLATE-MARK: The indentation left on the paper by the edges of an intaglio plate after it has been run through the press under great pressure. Edges of plates are usually rounded (bevelled) to avoid sharp edges piercing the paper.

PLATE TONE: Rather than wiping an intaglio plate completely clean an artist may deliberately leave a film of ink on the surface which will print on the paper as a pale tone. Artists such as Rembrandt and Whistler often used this technique in their etchings with the purpose of varying each impression they made and producing dramatic contrasts of light and dark.

POST-IMPRESSIONISM: A term coined by Roger Fry in 1910 to describe the work of Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Literally meaning ‘after Impressionism’, Post-Impressionist painting uses some of the ideas invented by the impressionists but moves on significantly in terms of style, being more interested in the qualities of form and colour than in the accurate representation of subjects.

PRINT: A pictorial image that has been created by a process that enables it to be multiplied.

PRINTING PRESS: The roller press was invented by the German printer and publisher Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-fifteenth century.

PROOF: A print that is made in order to check how an image is forming on a plate for the purpose of deciding whether or not changes need to be made.

PUBLISHER: A person or business that initially finances a print edition and shares in the subsequent profits.

REGISTRATION: The careful placement of sequentially printed plates to ensure that each line up correctly in the final image.

RELIEF PRINTING: Relief techniques include woodcut, wood engraving and linocut; they are created by cutting away the background of the image block, leaving the design standing in relief. Ink is rolled over the surface of the block, which is printed with very little pressure on to a sheet of paper. Recessed areas which have been cut away do not receive ink and therefore will not print, remaining white on the printed image.

RENAISSANCE: From the French for ‘rebirth’, used to describe the revival of arts and learning under the influence of the rediscovery of classical art and culture from ancient Greece and Rome. Beginning in Italy around 1400, the equivalent developments in the Netherlands and the Holy Roman Empire are defined as the Northern Renaissance. ‘High Renaissance’ refers to the specific era spanning the lifetimes of the prominent Italian artists Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo (c.1480 to c.1530).

REPRODUCTIVE PRINTS: Prints that directly copy or reproduce paintings or other prints.

RESIST: Another term for ground.

ROLLER: From 1817 onwards, ink rollers were used in relief printmaking processes to transfer ink onto the plate. Rollers - similar to a rolling pin that has been covered in either leather or rubber - took the place of the ink balls (or dabbers) that had been in use since the fifteenth century.

SATIRE: The use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

SCREEN PRINT: A process using stencils. The screen is a frame on which a fine mesh (originally silk) is stretched under tension. Areas of the screen are blocked with a stencil, and ink is squeezed through the open areas of the screen using a squeegee. Photographic screenprint involves first coating the screen with a light-sensitive emulsion. (Screenprint is also referred to as silkscreen or serigraph)

SQUEEGEE: A rubber blade with a wooden handle used to squeeze ink through the open areas of a screenprint stencil onto the paper beneath.

STATE: An in-between stage in the development of a print. Often an artist prints a number of proofs (or states) at different stages in order to check their progress.

STENCIL: A piece of paper or sheet plastic that is applied to the surface of a silkscreen in order to prevent ink from penetrating certain areas - printing occurs in the areas where the design has been cut out.

SURREALISM: A literary, artistic and cultural movement, which began in 1920s France. It took Freud’s psychoanalytical theories as its core and was a highly international movement, with artists in Britain and abroad creating dream-like paintings, sculptures and performances.

THE ETCHING REVIVAL: The name given (contemporaneously, and by art historians after the event) to the renaissance of etching as an original form of printmaking, inspired by the expressive prints of Rembrandt and Goya, from around 1850 to 1930.

TOPOGRAPHICAL: A study detailing exact geographical or scenic features.

TUSCHE: German for ‘ink’, tusche is the name of the greasy liquid (available in liquid and solid form) used for mark making on a lithographic plate.

UKIYO-E: Meaning pictures of the ‘floating world’, Ukiyo-e is a genre of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. The most famous Ukiyo-e masters, Hokusai and Hiroshige, are best remembered for their landscapes.

ULAE: Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) is a fine art print publisher established in 1957 by Tatyana Grosman. Initially making lithographs with artists such as Larry Rivers, Sam Francis, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg, ULAE sparked a revival of printmaking in America. Today, ULAE continues to collaborate with artists to publish small edition prints and artists' books. Artists include Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Claes Oldenberg, Ed Ruscha, Kiki Smith, and Cy Twombly.

WOODCUT: The earliest print technique that first appeared in China in the ninth century and in Europe around 1400. It was first used to stamp designs onto textiles in Europe in the thirteenth century. It became possible to print on to paper as a result of the increased availability of paper in the second half of the fourteenth century. Woodcut is a relief process whereby the artist cuts away the background of a plank of soft-grained wood (along the grain) using chisels, knives and gouges, leaving the design standing in relief. The surface of the block is inked with a dabber or (after 1817) a roller and printed with very little pressure on to a sheet of paper. Areas which have been cut away do not receive ink and therefore will not print, remaining white on the printed image.

WOOD-ENGRAVING: A relief technique and version of woodcut that was invented by Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) in the late eighteenth century. The artist or wood-engraver uses a graver or burin to cut across the grain of a woodblock (usually a very hard wood, such as boxwood), which allows the creation of very fine detail.

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It includes a Power Point presentation, images and image list.

FURTHER DETAILS:• All images can then be copied or downloaded:

• PC users: right-click on the image and select ‘Save Target As…’ Then choose the location to which you want to save the image.

• Mac users: control-click on the image and select ‘Save Image As…’ Then choose the location at which you want to save the image.

All digital images © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London unless otherwise stated.

COPYRIGHTFor the following images copyright belongs to:

Image 20© Succession H. Matisse/DACS 2014

Image 21© The Estate of Lucian Freud/Bridgeman Images

Image 22© The Courtauld Gallery, London/courtesy of the artist

Image 23©Chris Ofili and The Paragon Press, London

THE CONTENTS OF THIS CD ARE FOREDUCATION PURPOSES ONLY: Please refer to the copyright statement forreproduction rights.

IMAGE CD COPYRIGHT STATEMENT1. The images contained on the TeachingResource CD are for educational purposesonly. They should never be used forcommercial or publishing purposes, besold or otherwise disposed of, reproducedor exhibited in any form or manner(including any exhibition by means ofa television broadcast or on the WorldWide Web [Internet]) without the expresspermission of the copyright holder,The Courtauld Gallery, London.

2. Images should not be manipulated,cropped or altered.

3. All digital images © The Samuel Courtauld Trust,The Courtauld Gallery, London unless otherwise stated (images 20, 21, 22 and 23). All rights andpermissions granted by The CourtauldGallery and The Courtauld Institute of Artare non-transferable to third parties unlesscontractually agreed beforehand.Please caption our images with‘© The Courtauld Gallery, London’.

For the following images copyright is:

Image 20© Succession H. Matisse/DACS 2014

Image 21© The Estate of Lucian Freud/Bridgeman Images

Image 22© The Courtauld Gallery, London/courtesy of the artist

Image 23©Chris Ofili and The Paragon Press, London

4. Staff and students are welcome todownload and print out images, in orderto illustrate research and coursework(such as essays and presentations).Digital images may be stored on academicintranet databases (private/internalcomputer system).

5. As a matter of courtesy, please alwayscontact relevant lenders/artists for imagesto be reproduced in the public domain.


For a broader use of our images (internalshort run publications or brochures forexample), you will need to contactThe Courtauld Gallery for permission.

Please contact us at: Courtauld Images,The Courtauld Institute of Art, SomersetHouse, Strand, London WC2R [email protected],Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2879.

To download a pdf of this teachersresource please visit www.courtauld.ac.uk/publicprogrammes/onlinelearning

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TEACHERS’ RESOURCEPRINTMAKING: Highlights from The Courtauld Gallery CollectionFirst Edition

Teachers’ resources are free to teachers, lecturers and other education and learning professionals. To be used for education purposes only. Any redistribution or reproduction of any materials herein is strictly prohibited.

Sarah GreenProgramme Manager - Gallery LearningCourtauld Institute of ArtSomerset House, StrandLONDON, WC2R 0RN0207 848 [email protected]

All details correct at time of going to press