Engravings and prints
Prints were invented in Europe at the same time as printing, in the 15th century. The artist presents a negative of his design on wood or copper; then it is printed on paper or in rare cases on parchment or fabric. They were first used to illustrated books, then they became a medium for artists like Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) or Georg Philipp I Rugendas (1666-1742). Between the 15th and the 19th century, prints were a tool to disseminate Art, great figures and important events among nobility and bourgeoisie. In the 19th century Colonial era prints became a way to share knowledge of the world with Europeans, like the series “Voyage de la coquille” or the archeological prints from Emile Prisse d’Avesnes (1807-1879). They also helped promoting Art Nouveau by publishing decoration sketches like Eugène Grasset’s engravings. In Asia, woodblock printing was discovered as early as the 7th century. In Japan, this technique spreads to all segments of the population and became a National Art in the 8th century. Great artists like Hokusai (1760-1849), Hiroshige (1797-1858) are in huge demand nowadays. Some of their works can be found in Paul Bert Serpette.