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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 SIGNED "BEST BUDDIES" SCREEN PRINT
Jun 08, 1:00 PM EDT
KEITH HARING SIGNED "BEST BUDDIES" SCREEN PRINT
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $10,000- $30,000
$1,00025 Bids
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AMADO PENA JR. "EL CHOTIS" LTD. ED. SIGNED SERIGRAPH
Jun 09, 9:00 AM MST
AMADO PENA JR. "EL CHOTIS" LTD. ED. SIGNED SERIGRAPH
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Est: $0- $0
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Oehlen, Albert | 1954 Krefeld
Jun 01, 10:00 AM CEST
Oehlen, Albert | 1954 Krefeld
by GAILER Kunstauktionshaus am Chiemsee
Est: €0- €0
€2608 Bids
FOLON Jean-Michel ÉVASION, 1978.
May 30, 2:30 PM CEST
FOLON Jean-Michel ÉVASION, 1978.
by Librairie - Galerie des Eléphants
Est: €300- €450
€3606 Bids
Keith Haring “Celebrating Life And Work” Print
Jun 01, 10:00 AM MST
Keith Haring “Celebrating Life And Work” Print
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Est: $0- $0
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Framed Print By Itzchak Tarkay
Jun 08, 11:00 AM EDT
Framed Print By Itzchak Tarkay
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Est: $250- $300
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Lourdes Castro (1930-2022)
May 30, 7:00 PM CEST
Lourdes Castro (1930-2022)
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Est: €1,500- €2,000
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Edvard Munch, "Alpha and Omega"
Jun 05, 10:00 AM EDT
Edvard Munch, "Alpha and Omega"
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Est: $6,000- $8,000
$4,5005 Bids
William T. Wiley, American (b. 1937), Rhoom for Error #31, 1983, monoprint with soft ground etching
Jun 01, 10:00 AM CDT
William T. Wiley, American (b. 1937), Rhoom for Error #31, 1983, monoprint with soft ground etching
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Est: $700- $1,000
$5504 Bids
ALEX MULLIE - The Sower, After Van Gogh
Jun 02, 1:00 PM CST
ALEX MULLIE - The Sower, After Van Gogh
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Est: $80- $100
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Marc Chagall "Der Mann mit dem Korb" Aquatint
Jun 09, 12:00 PM EDT
Marc Chagall "Der Mann mit dem Korb" Aquatint
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Est: $1,000- $2,000
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Bart van der Leck (Dutch 1876 - 1958). Woman with cow.
Jun 10, 7:30 PM CEST
Bart van der Leck (Dutch 1876 - 1958). Woman with cow.
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Est: €1,000- €1,500
€1,3004 Bids
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Marc Chagall, Original Color Lithograph on Paper, Signed
May 30, 2:00 PM EDT
Marc Chagall, Original Color Lithograph on Paper, Signed
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Est: $800- $2,000
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Itzchak Tarkay, Original Color Serigraph on Paper, Signed
May 30, 2:00 PM EDT
Itzchak Tarkay, Original Color Serigraph on Paper, Signed
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
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Keith Haring “Untitled 1983” Print On Paper
Jun 01, 10:00 AM MST
Keith Haring “Untitled 1983” Print On Paper
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Est: $0- $0
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Fritz Scholder (1937-2005, Luiseno), "Snake Dancer," 1979
Jun 04, 10:00 AM PDT
Fritz Scholder (1937-2005, Luiseno), "Snake Dancer," 1979
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Est: $800- $1,200
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ALEX MULLIE - Make Me an Angel, to Fly from Montgomery
Jun 02, 1:00 PM CST
ALEX MULLIE - Make Me an Angel, to Fly from Montgomery
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Est: $70- $90
$463 Bids
CASTRO Lourdes. Untitled, 1969.
May 30, 2:30 PM CEST
CASTRO Lourdes. Untitled, 1969.
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Est: €600- €900
€3403 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Figural Prints


Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Art Atelier

Art Atelier

TGP Auction

TGP Auction

Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf

Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf