New Book | The Print Before Photography

Posted in books by Editor on March 26, 2017

From Museum Bookstore:

Anthony Griffiths, The Print Before Photography: An Introduction to European Printmaking, 1550–1820 (London: The British Museum, 2016), 560 pages, ISBN: 978  07141  26951, $75.

A landmark publication—beautifully illustrated with over 300 prints from the British Museum’s renowned collection—The Print Before Photography traces the history of printmaking from its earliest days until the arrival of photography.

Copperplate printmaking, developed alongside Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type, was a huge business employing thousands of people, and dominating image production for nearly four centuries across the whole of Europe. Its techniques and influence remained very stable until the nineteenth century, when this world was displaced by new technologies, of which photography was by far the most important. The Print Before Photography examines the unrivaled importance of printmaking in its golden age, illustrated through the British Museum’s outstanding collection of prints. This unique and significant book is destined to be a leading reference in print scholarship, and will be of interest to anyone with an interest in this era of art history.

Between 1991 and 2010, Antony Griffiths was deputy keeper, then keeper, of Prints and Drawings at The British Museum. In 1984 he co-founded the journal Print Quarterly. He was appointed a fellow of the British Academy in 2000.

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