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The printmaking tradition of rendering landscapes originated in Italy in the 1500s with the engraver Marcantonio Raimondi. Known for his engravings of Raphael's work, Raimondi inspired others to reproduce original artwork for profit, and the practice quickly spread to the Netherlands and was assimilated into the Dutch landscape tradition.
Landscapes were one of the most popular categories of prints produced for book illustrations or for decorative purposes. In the 19th century, the French Barbizon landscape painters translated plein air sketches into remarkable prints. Preferring to work outdoors and study directly from nature, rebelling against studio painting, the Barbizon artists found printmaking a versatile medium for capturing the desired effects.
The Barbizon school greatly influenced the next generation of Impressionist painters. In Great Britain, artists rendered the landscape using mezzotint and aquatint to create the effects of watercolor washes, as can be seen in the work of Paul Sandby and David Lucas, who is known for his translation of John Constable landscape paintings into prints.
Dutch painter and printmaker Hercules Segers is considered one of the most important landscapists of the Dutch golden age, creating remarkable original compositions of imaginary mountain vistas
The 19th century Barbizon painters preferred to make prints using the etching technique, as they could draw directly into the ground to quickly capture the changing effects of weather on the landscape
In the 1890s, Edgar Degas created remarkable impressionistic color landscapes using the monotype technique. Degas travelled through Burgundy to visit a friend, and created the monotypes as recollections of the countryside along his journey