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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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Keith Haring Lithograph Signed In Plate
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Keith Haring Lithograph Signed In Plate
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$1,00023 Bids
Roy Lichtenstein Hand Signed Lithograph 27 x 35"
Oct 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Roy Lichtenstein Hand Signed Lithograph 27 x 35"
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$75017 Bids
Picasso "The Dream" Hand Signed COA
Oct 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Picasso "The Dream" Hand Signed COA
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $1,200- $1,600
$30017 Bids
ATTR PABLO PICASSO Signed Linocut
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR PABLO PICASSO Signed Linocut
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $200- $800
$20014 Bids
Itzchak Tarkay Signed Limited Edition Serigraph On Paper
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Itzchak Tarkay Signed Limited Edition Serigraph On Paper
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$13014 Bids
ATTR ROY LICHTENSTEIN Crak! Signed Lithograph
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR ROY LICHTENSTEIN Crak! Signed Lithograph
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $200- $500
$9011 Bids
Salvador Dali Signed Limited Edition Woodblock Print
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Salvador Dali Signed Limited Edition Woodblock Print
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$27511 Bids
Peter Max Lithograph Signed In Plate
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Peter Max Lithograph Signed In Plate
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$2009 Bids
MILTON BRADLEY 1886 HUMAN BODY ROLL DOWN CHART
Oct 01, 9:00 AM MDT
MILTON BRADLEY 1886 HUMAN BODY ROLL DOWN CHART
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1108 Bids
Erte Art Deco Serigraph, Kiss of Fire
Oct 08, 9:00 AM EDT
Erte Art Deco Serigraph, Kiss of Fire
by Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $300- $400
$4758 Bids
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Ossip ZADKINE (1890 - 1967) Personnages - 1957 Lithographie en couleurs
Oct 04, 12:00 PM CEST
Ossip ZADKINE (1890 - 1967) Personnages - 1957 Lithographie en couleurs
by Artcurial
Est: €300- €400
€5507 Bids
Emmanuel Torreele, 'Drift', Litho, 40 x 30 x 2 cm
Oct 02, 6:00 PM CEST
Emmanuel Torreele, 'Drift', Litho, 40 x 30 x 2 cm
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €0- €0
€2606 Bids
ATTR JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Self Portrait Lithograph
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Self Portrait Lithograph
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $200- $500
$76 Bids
Panamarenko (1940-2019), 'Pepto Bismo', offset, 31 x 50 cm
Oct 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Panamarenko (1940-2019), 'Pepto Bismo', offset, 31 x 50 cm
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €400- €600
€4256 Bids
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Robert COMBAS (Né en 1957) Sans titre - 1995 Sérigraphie en couleurs
Oct 04, 12:00 PM CEST
Robert COMBAS (Né en 1957) Sans titre - 1995 Sérigraphie en couleurs
by Artcurial
Est: €200- €300
€7506 Bids
Romare Bearden (American, 1911-1988)
Oct 19, 12:00 PM EDT
Romare Bearden (American, 1911-1988)
by Gray's Auctioneers
Est: $800- $1,200
$1,0005 Bids
Pair Signed Vintage H Nouington Block Impressions
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Pair Signed Vintage H Nouington Block Impressions
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $100
$255 Bids
Rare Andy Warhol "Ladies and Gentlemen" 40 x 30"
Oct 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Rare Andy Warhol "Ladies and Gentlemen" 40 x 30"
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $800- $1,200
$1605 Bids
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960), signed, 'Le Patissier Coree..', lithograph, 30 x 39 cm - 35,5 x 46 cm
Oct 06, 2:00 PM CEST
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960), signed, 'Le Patissier Coree..', lithograph, 30 x 39 cm - 35,5 x 46 cm
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €200- €300
€5505 Bids
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Alecos FASSIANOS (Né en 1935) Ensemble de 2 estampes - 1968/1970
Oct 04, 12:00 PM CEST
Alecos FASSIANOS (Né en 1935) Ensemble de 2 estampes - 1968/1970
by Artcurial
Est: €100- €150
€2505 Bids
Untitled
Oct 06, 2:00 PM CEST
Untitled
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €0- €0
€455 Bids
Henri Matisse Lithograph Signed In Plate
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Henri Matisse Lithograph Signed In Plate
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$805 Bids
FAITH RINGGOLD (1930 - ) The Sunflower's Quilting Bee at Aries.
Oct 06, 12:00 PM EDT
FAITH RINGGOLD (1930 - ) The Sunflower's Quilting Bee at Aries.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$2,4005 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Figural Prints


Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

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Novartia

Neely Auction

Neely Auction