Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Image Multiplied: European Printmaking since 1400
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2,500 words + annotated images  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam.  2 questions in 2 hours  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   2 hour exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • develop the ability to evaluate and categorise the different ways in which artists use print;
  • recognise the qualities and marks that are specific to each process;
  • identify syntax and distinguish between the various manners in which artists draw for process;
  • demonstrate an understanding and sure handling of the technical terminology;
  • explain the socio-historical and art historical contexts of the printmakers and their work.

Brief description

Why do artists make prints? What are the qualities that make a good printmaker? Ever thought how fine art prints can be described as ‘original’ when they exist in multiples? And what then is a reproduction? Even art historians can struggle to distinguish between an etching, engraving, mezzotint, aquatint, lithograph, wood engraving, woodcut, or serigraph. Only by recognizing and understanding processes can we write intelligently about an artist’s achievements in printmaking.

In Europe the print industry developed out of a need for reproductions and illustrations as a means to communicate information visually. Much of our knowledge of works of art before the introduction of photography, for example, came from the print. For over 400 years its function was imitative: engraving emulated pen drawing, soft ground the crayon, mezzotint the chiaroscuro of an oil painting, or aquatint the delicacy of watercolour. Some artists however saw the creative potential of printmaking, not just as way to reproduce their works in another medium, but for the intrinsic mark-making possibilities of each process. Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Francisco Goya, James McNeill Whistler, Pablo Picasso and David Hockney are among the many that recognised the creative potential of print as a means of expression.

This module examines the characteristics and role of printmaking within the European and, latterly, American tradition through an analysis of the work of some of its key practitioners. The relationship between image and process, the use of print as reproduction, and the development of the fine art print will be considered. Prints will be discussed in relation to their social, historical, art historical and technological contexts. At most classes there will be opportunities to study at first-hand original prints from the National Library of Wales and the School of Art Museum. This module is especially useful to fine art students specializing in printmaking.


1. Prints and Communication: Approaching the Study of Print. Module overview, aims and assessments explained. [Lecture, 1 hour]

2. Albrecht Durer and the Impact of Early Printmaking. [Lecture, 1 hour] + Medium, Materials and Techniques 1: The Relief Print and the Lithograph. [Print Identification Workshop, 1 hour]

3. Naturalism: Rembrandt and his Contemporaries. [Lecture, 1 hour]

4. Inner Visions: Francisco Goya and William Blake. [Lecture, 1 hour] + Medium, Materials and Techniques 2: The Intaglio Print and the Serigraph [Print Identification Workshop, 1 hour]

5. Prints with a Point: William Hogarth, James Gillray and Honore Daumier. [Lecture, 1 hour]

6. The Limited Edition: James McNeill Whistler and the Fine Art Print. [Lecture, 1 hour]

7. Hands On at the National Library of Wales: a feast of original prints by Durer, Rembrandt, Whistler and others brought out especially for you. [Lecture + Seminar-Workshop, 2 hours]

8. Landscape Observed and Transformed: Samuel Palmer and the Romantic Landscape Tradition. [Lecture, 1 hour] + Pastoral Re-Visions: Neo-Romantic Landscapes from the School of Art Museum. [Seminar-Workshop, 1 hour]

9. Experiment and Expression: Avant-Garde Printmaking in Britain and on the Continent, 1914-1960. [Lecture, 1 hour]

10. Ash Can to Pop: from Hopper to Warhol. [Lecture, 1 hour] + David Hockney: Continuity and New Departures. [Seminar-Workshop, 1 hou

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Articulating ideas through seminar discussions as well as academic writing skills in the essay.
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent study through class assignment research and preparation.
Information Technology Information retrieval from various academic research portals and online museum collection databases.
Personal Development and Career planning Emphasis on professional presentation of research and bibliography using MLA style documentation.
Problem solving In class discussion, print identification, essay research and writing, and in the examination. Analysis and interpretation of print and their makers.
Research skills Academic essay research and writing, and in the examination. Image sourcing.
Subject Specific Skills Grounding in the materials used and techniques employed in making prints. Handling of rare prints from School of Art and National Library of Wales collections.
Team work Seminar group discussion and presentation.


This module is at CQFW Level 6