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Figural Prints

The representation of the figure has long been an important exploration in a multitude of artistic methods. An interest in classical motifs and anatomy was revived in the Renaissance; artists were concerned with representing the minutia of the human form. This interest was scientific, but also served an artistic purpose as artists wished to more accurately paint and draw the body.

Interest in the human figure coincided with the rise of printmaking in Western Europe. Printmaking assisted with the dissemination of anatomical illustrations, helping to advance scientific study and medical technology. Artists like Andrea Mantegna borrowed from rediscovered classical art in his study of the human form and used printmaking to reproduce his images for distribution to a wide audience.

Interest in figural art continued throughout the early 20th century, though artistic attention did turn to landscape, industrial scenes, and eventually abstract expressionism. The figure also has a place in contemporary printmaking, as artists moved away from abstraction in the post war period.


Quick Facts

  • In the early 1500s, the Italian painter and printmaker Parmigianino created exceptional figural engravings, etchings, and woodcuts. He used the etching technique to work out the figure in the sinuous style of mannerism
  • The German Expressionist group Die Brucke explored the human figure primarily through woodcut prints, favoring the rough, primitive result from quickly drawn sketches
  • Lucien Freud created etchings early in his career, then rediscovered etching in the 1980s. Freud drew directly onto the copper plate, and his etchings are notable for the candor with which he treats his subjects, especially his nudes

Recommended Items at Auction

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Louis Icart Signed "Spilled Apples" Etching
Mar 01, 12:00 PM PST
Louis Icart Signed "Spilled Apples" Etching
by District Auction
Est: $0- $0
$15512 Bids
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KAREL APPEL - COLOUR LITHOGRAPHY
Feb 27, 10:00 AM CET
KAREL APPEL - COLOUR LITHOGRAPHY
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Est: €180- €380
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EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918) LIMITED EDITION COLOR LITHOGRAPH WITH COA – 23IN x 27IN
Feb 27, 3:00 PM EST
EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918) LIMITED EDITION COLOR LITHOGRAPH WITH COA – 23IN x 27IN
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Est: $2,000- $3,000
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Louis Icart 1888-1950 ZEST Drypoint Etching SIGNED
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Louis Icart 1888-1950 ZEST Drypoint Etching SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$2507 Bids
Alphonse Mucha 1860-1939 POETRY Lithograph SIGNED
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Alphonse Mucha 1860-1939 POETRY Lithograph SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1,1007 Bids
Armin Carl Hansen Etching, "Before the Catch"
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
Armin Carl Hansen Etching, "Before the Catch"
by Neue Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$2006 Bids
After Keith Haring Framed Portfolio Print
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
After Keith Haring Framed Portfolio Print
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
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Mikhail CHEMIAKIN, b.1943 (Russia)
Feb 27, 5:00 PM GMT
Mikhail CHEMIAKIN, b.1943 (Russia)
by Cultural Traditions
Est: £50- £100
£1005 Bids
Erte 1892-1990 PHOENIX TRIMPHANT Serigraph SIGNED
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Erte 1892-1990 PHOENIX TRIMPHANT Serigraph SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1505 Bids
Peter Max SIGNED Liberty and Justice for All Litho
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Peter Max SIGNED Liberty and Justice for All Litho
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$3755 Bids
Erte 1892-1990 Statue Of Liberty Serigraph SIGNED
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Erte 1892-1990 Statue Of Liberty Serigraph SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1754 Bids
A framed Don Bradman lithograph by Sidney Riley (109cm x 74cm)
Feb 29, 1:00 PM AEDT
A framed Don Bradman lithograph by Sidney Riley (109cm x 74cm)
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Est: AUD800- AUD1,200
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Erte 1892-1990 LE STARFISH Serigraph Print SIGNED
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Erte 1892-1990 LE STARFISH Serigraph Print SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $600
$2004 Bids
LABISSE FELIX (1905 - 1982) kleurlitho n° EA : "Tr…
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CET
LABISSE FELIX (1905 - 1982) kleurlitho n° EA : "Tr…
by DVC
Est: €0- €0
€504 Bids
ANDY WARHOL - Ladies and gentleman, 1975
Mar 10, 12:00 PM CET
ANDY WARHOL - Ladies and gentleman, 1975
by Meeting Art Casa D'Aste
Est: €18,000- €20,000
€6,0004 Bids
Banksy, British b.1974- - Rude Copper, 2002;
Mar 05, 10:00 AM GMT
Banksy, British b.1974- - Rude Copper, 2002;
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Est: £12,000- £15,000
£10,0004 Bids
Louis Icart 1888-1950 PARESSE Deco Etching SIGNED
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Louis Icart 1888-1950 PARESSE Deco Etching SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1504 Bids
Salvador Dali 1904-1989 MOSES EA Etching SIGNED
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Salvador Dali 1904-1989 MOSES EA Etching SIGNED
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1253 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Figural Prints


Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

TGP Auction

TGP Auction

Roseberys

Roseberys

KCM Galleries

KCM Galleries