The term graphic art is derived from the Greek "grafiki" and refers to descriptive and/or written art. Graphic art is the collective name for all artistic, technical, and industrial drawings and their manual typographic reproduction (prints). Works of original graphic art are completely independent and separate from the models.
Graphic art can generally be divided into three large areas. These are the relief printing methods (embossed print), intaglio (depressions on blank metal surfaces are filled with printing ink), and flat-screen printing (the carrier is coated with oil-based forms like Indian ink, grease, or chalk). According to this definition, this includes the relief printing methods such as letterpress printing, woodcut, wood engraving, linocut, and block printing. Intaglio can be subdivided into the manual engraving techniques and methods of etching. The manual engraving methods include the techniques of copperplate engraving, niello, steel engraving, the dry-point technique, and the mezzotint technique. Etching techniques are engraving (beginning in 1513), aquatint (developed between 1765 and 1768 by Jean Baptiste Leprince), vernis nou, crayon manner, stipple manner, and soft-ground etching. The latter includes the flat-screen printing of lithography (since about 1803), metal plate print, and the multi-plate color method.
Graphic art attained its peak with the main emphasis in Italy and Germany during the 16th Century. Well-known representatives of copperplate engraving in Italy are Marcantonio Raimondi (about 1475 – about 1534), Agostino dei Musi (about 1490 – about 1540), and Antonio Salamanca (1500 – 1562). In Germany Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528) developed the woodcut, as well as the copperplate engraving, to perfection. He published his graphic- art cycles through his own publishing company and distributed them through the book trade. His woodcut series were "Life of the Virgin" (1502/05), "Large Passion" (1496 – 1510), and "Small Passion" (1509 – 11). He also produced such copperplate engravings as the works "Knight, Death, and the Devil" (1513), "Melancolia I" (1514), and "St. Jerome in His Study" (1514). Although graphic art become widespread in other European countries (such as in the Netherlands with Pieter Huys *1519/20 – 1581/84), it was influenced by both Italian and German graphic art. In Fontainebleau, for example, a graphic arts studio existed between 1542 and 1548 under the direction of Primaticcio (1504 – 70; Italian painter, sculptor, and architect). Collectors accepted graphic art and the mass production of printed sheets began.
Related artists: Aldegrever, Heinrich | Altendorfer, Albrecht | Baldung gen. Grien, Hans | Baumgartner, Johann Wolfgang | del Sarto, Andrea | Dix, Otto | Dürer, Albrecht | Israëls, Jozef | Kauffmann, Angelica | Leistikow, Walter | Lorrain, Claude | Portielje, Edward Antoon | Rembrandt, Harmensz. van Rijn | Ringelnatz, Joachim | Schongauer, Martin | Spranger, Bartholomew | Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de