was a medium of communication, but in the 19th century, artists began to produce limited editions
and to sign their prints along with the technical information necessary to authenticate the work.
Printmaking in Europe
printing on paper had to wait a while for the arrival of the paper from the Far East. The first paper
produced in Europe was in Játiva, Spain, 1151. The first wood cuts printed on paper were normal
everyday playing cards produced in Germany around the start of the 15th century. Slightly before the
15th century, the first royal seals and stamps appeared in England, during the time that Henry VI ruled.
The seventeenth century
van Dyck and Rubens leading the way in Flanders. By this time a lot of intaglio work was acid etched,
as contemporary artists considered this as a less commercial, greatly creative and a nobler
Although Italy was a hotspot for etching, ironically the leading etchers there were
actually foreigners, names such as: Jaques Callot and Claude Lorrain from France and the Spaniard,
José de la Ribera. The leading figure in the Netherlands around this time was an artist called
Rembrandt, who left to posterity huge benchmark, in both terms of quantity and quality.
Approximately 300 plates represent virtually every aspect of human endeavor. Europe`s printmaking
center of gravity moved Italy in the 18th, beginning with Tiepolo.
The nineteenth century
France the active printmakers at this time included Ingres, Delacroix, the Barbizon school (Daubigny,
Theodore Rousseau and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot) and the political satirist Honoré Daumier, who
made more than 4,000 lithographs; this was mainly used for newspaper illustrations. The most
important printmakers the impressionists were Manet and Degas, former mainly in lithographs.
English printmaking highlights an Englishman, Francis Seymour Hayden, and an American, James
The other notable American printmaker at this time, although more in terms of natural science than art, was James Audubon.