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Portrait Prints

The portrait has an important place in Western art traditions, particularly as a part of academic training for European artists, and second only to history subject matter in the hierarchy of genres. From Mannerism to Baroque to Modern, artists created portrait prints to follow the style of the times.

Rembrandt van Rijn is one of the most famous printmakers to have focused on portraiture. He began making etchings in his early career, and his self portrait studies of various facial expressions informed his larger painting practice in the mid-1600s.

Jumping hundreds of years of art history, portraiture remained an important exploration for artists such as Andy Warhol and Lucien Freud. The use of the screen print modality to mass reproduce iconic images was a reflection of the global nature of images in popular culture, allowing Warhol to comment on the obsessive nature of society.

Though very different stylistically, Lucien Freud favored printmaking as a method to create and reproduce portraits that scrutinize and study the expressive nature of the human face.


Quick Facts

  • The 18th- and 19th-century science known as physiognomy, or the idea that facial features are related to personality or character traits, prompted interest in portraiture
  • Frida Kahlo began her artistic training with printmaking. Kahlo's portraits serve as inspiration for many artists interested in exploring the self through self-portraiture
  • Pablo Picasso was a prolific printmaker in etching, drypoints, lithographs, and linoleum relief prints. He applied the principles of collage and cubism to his printmaking and portraiture

Recommended Items at Auction

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Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987): John Wayne (from Cowboys and Indians)
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987): John Wayne (from Cowboys and Indians)
by Abell Auction
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$3,2506 Bids
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PAIR OF RUBENS SOUTHEY VINTAGE FRAMED PRINTS
Mar 07, 9:00 AM AEST
PAIR OF RUBENS SOUTHEY VINTAGE FRAMED PRINTS
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD354 Bids
HOWARD ARKLEY, 1951-1999, Zappo Head, hand coloured silkscreen, 40x30cm
Mar 10, 7:00 PM AEDT
HOWARD ARKLEY, 1951-1999, Zappo Head, hand coloured silkscreen, 40x30cm
by Lawsons
Est: AUD2,000- AUD3,000
AUD404 Bids
Cassius Clay (abolitionist) hand-colored lithograph, N. Currier
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Cassius Clay (abolitionist) hand-colored lithograph, N. Currier
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
Kellogg hand-colored lithograph of John Breckenridge
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Kellogg hand-colored lithograph of John Breckenridge
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
ANDY WARHOL (after)
Mar 05, 6:00 PM CET
ANDY WARHOL (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF180- CHF280
CHF1604 Bids
AUBREY BEARDSLEY SALOME PRINTS BY LAMBERT STUDIOS
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
AUBREY BEARDSLEY SALOME PRINTS BY LAMBERT STUDIOS
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$703 Bids
Paul Plaschke monotype - Louisville, Kentucky
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Paul Plaschke monotype - Louisville, Kentucky
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$153 Bids
SADELER, Egidius II (1570-1629)
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
SADELER, Egidius II (1570-1629)
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €450- €700
€1,2003 Bids
McKenney & Hall, Rare, Folio - Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiah or Black Hawk, A Saukie Brave
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CST
McKenney & Hall, Rare, Folio - Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiah or Black Hawk, A Saukie Brave
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$2703 Bids
MOCHA
Mar 05, 10:00 AM GMT
MOCHA
by Sheppards
Est: €150- €250
€2403 Bids
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Alex Katz - Vincent, 1972 - 1972 Lithograph - SIGNED 15" x 21"
Mar 05, 11:15 AM EST
Alex Katz - Vincent, 1972 - 1972 Lithograph - SIGNED 15" x 21"
by DUMBO Auctions
Est: $1,500- $3,000
$6002 Bids
R C Gorman 1932- 2005 Gambling Lady LE Lithograph
Mar 13, 12:00 PM EDT
R C Gorman 1932- 2005 Gambling Lady LE Lithograph
by MiddleManBrokers
Est: $1- $1,000
$32 Bids
Russell Young ( b.1959)
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
Russell Young ( b.1959)
by Doyle New York
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,1002 Bids
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2X VINTAGE SAD BOY/GIRL PRINTS
Mar 07, 9:00 AM AEST
2X VINTAGE SAD BOY/GIRL PRINTS
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD252 Bids
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Pablo PICASSO (d'après) Les portraits imaginiaires - 1 planche - 1969
Mar 07, 12:00 PM CET
Pablo PICASSO (d'après) Les portraits imaginiaires - 1 planche - 1969
by Artcurial
Est: €800- €1,200
€8502 Bids
SALVATOR ROSA
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CET
SALVATOR ROSA
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €200- €400
€2002 Bids
Audubon, Imperial Folio - Sea Otter. 137
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CST
Audubon, Imperial Folio - Sea Otter. 137
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $3,500- $5,500
$4002 Bids
from 'Imaginary Portraits'
Mar 07, 12:00 PM JST
from 'Imaginary Portraits'
by Mallet Auction
Est: ¥150,000- ¥200,000
¥150,0002 Bids
TOM WESSELMANN (after)
Mar 05, 6:00 PM CET
TOM WESSELMANN (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF180- CHF280
CHF801 Bid
Ludwig Meidner, portrait etching
Mar 07, 10:00 AM EST
Ludwig Meidner, portrait etching
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
LABISSE, Felix (1905-1982)
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
LABISSE, Felix (1905-1982)
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €160- €240
€1601 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Portrait Prints


Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

KCM Galleries

KCM Galleries

TGP Auction

TGP Auction

Hotel des Ventes De Bruxelles

Hotel des Ventes De Bruxelles