Loading Spinner

Old Masters Prints

Old Master prints are artworks produced during the 15th through 18th centuries by printmakers that are accepted by art historians as masters of the medium. Typically, the category refers to Western European printmakers, as the main areas in which printmaking thrived were Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Printmaking eventually spread to England, France, and elsewhere, but masters of the technique were from the nations that initially fostered the medium. Master printmakers worked using the modalities of woodcut, engraving and a limited number of etchings to create playing cards, book illustrations and eventually highly detailed religious and genre scenes.

Albrecht Dürer refined the woodcut technique, creating incredibly detailed landscapes that brought the medium to its zenith. None of his contemporaries could match his skill, and he was famous throughout Europe. Printmakers created workshops specifically intended to reproduce the great paintings of Andrea Mantegna, Titian, Raphael and others purely to increase the artists' commercial success and reach a wider audience for their work.


Quick Facts

  • In the 17th century, Sir Peter Paul Rubens employed a large workshop of engravers. He oversaw the training of the printmakers and the production of engravings of his work, making sure the resulting prints met his own exacting standards
  • Rembrandt van Rijn purchased his own printing press for his studio, and created approximately 300 prints during his career, focusing on landscapes, religious scenes, and portraits. He was highly experimental and ambitiously left ink on the plate to create various effects on the resulting prints
  • Francisco Goya explored social and political commentary through the medium of printmaking. His etchings and aquatints center on corruption and immorality, and his Los Caprichos series is still influential to artists today

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

CITY VIEWS / PLANS -- "PRAGA, BOHEMIAE METROPOLIS accuratissime expressa". (Cologne, Braun & Hogenberg, c
May 08, 1:30 PM CEST
CITY VIEWS / PLANS -- "PRAGA, BOHEMIAE METROPOLIS accuratissime expressa". (Cologne, Braun & Hogenberg, c
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €130- €160
€1302 Bids
A. DIES (1755-1822), Temple of Aesculapius in the park of Villa Borghese, Rome, 1799, Etching
Apr 27, 10:00 AM CEST
A. DIES (1755-1822), Temple of Aesculapius in the park of Villa Borghese, Rome, 1799, Etching
by Fichter Kunsthandel
Est: €450- €600
€3001 Bid
A. BOSSE (1604-1676), The artist's studio, around 1630, Etching
Apr 27, 10:00 AM CEST
A. BOSSE (1604-1676), The artist's studio, around 1630, Etching
by Fichter Kunsthandel
Est: €300- €400
€1801 Bid
OSTADE, ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN: "Die Familie".
May 02, 9:00 AM CEST
OSTADE, ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN: "Die Familie".
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF250- CHF500
CHF2401 Bid
HEEMSKERCK -- WIERIX, Johannes (1549-c. 1620). (The Lord's Prayer). N.d. (C.J. Visscher
May 07, 1:30 PM CEST
HEEMSKERCK -- WIERIX, Johannes (1549-c. 1620). (The Lord's Prayer). N.d. (C.J. Visscher
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €140- €180
€1401 Bid
VINKELES, Reinier (1741-1816). "Afbeelding der Teeken Academie als dezelve tot den Jaare
May 07, 1:30 PM CEST
VINKELES, Reinier (1741-1816). "Afbeelding der Teeken Academie als dezelve tot den Jaare
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €90- €120
€901 Bid
HACKERT (Carl Ludwig).
Apr 24, 2:00 PM CEST
HACKERT (Carl Ludwig).
by Alde
Est: €1,200- €1,500
€1,2000 Bids
LOW COUNTRIES -- "AENKOMST van S.K.Maj. op Honslerdyk". (1691). Etching by R. de
May 08, 1:30 PM CEST
LOW COUNTRIES -- "AENKOMST van S.K.Maj. op Honslerdyk". (1691). Etching by R. de
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €90- €120
€900 Bids
Goltzius, Hendrick
May 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Goltzius, Hendrick
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €400- €600
€4000 Bids
LOW COUNTRIES -- "GEZICHT VAN DE HAARLEMMER-POORT, op de Buiten-Singel te
May 08, 1:30 PM CEST
LOW COUNTRIES -- "GEZICHT VAN DE HAARLEMMER-POORT, op de Buiten-Singel te
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €140- €180
€1400 Bids
bp parity badge
Hans Sebald Beham, Allegoria della Cristianità. 1548.
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
Hans Sebald Beham, Allegoria della Cristianità. 1548.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €180- €360
€1800 Bids
bp parity badge
Albrecht Dürer [da], La crocefissione. XVIII secolo.
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
Albrecht Dürer [da], La crocefissione. XVIII secolo.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €180- €360
€1800 Bids
bp parity badge
Lucas Van Leyden, Cristo tentato. 1518.
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
Lucas Van Leyden, Cristo tentato. 1518.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €280- €560
€2800 Bids
bp parity badge
Lucas Van Leyden, Cristo coronato di spine. 1519.
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
Lucas Van Leyden, Cristo coronato di spine. 1519.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €280- €560
€2800 Bids
bp parity badge
Giuseppe Maria Mitelli, Quindici tavole da Le ventiquattr'hore dell'humana felicità. 1675 ca.
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
Giuseppe Maria Mitelli, Quindici tavole da Le ventiquattr'hore dell'humana felicità. 1675 ca.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €800- €1,600
€8000 Bids
DÜRER, Albrecht. (A peasant and his wife). c. 1497. Engr., monogrammed in
May 07, 1:30 PM CEST
DÜRER, Albrecht. (A peasant and his wife). c. 1497. Engr., monogrammed in
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €320- €400
€3200 Bids
BEHAM, Hans Sebald (1500-1550). (Death of Dido). 1520. Engr. 116 x 89
May 07, 1:30 PM CEST
BEHAM, Hans Sebald (1500-1550). (Death of Dido). 1520. Engr. 116 x 89
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €160- €200
€1600 Bids
CLAESZ -- MONOGRAMMIST AC (ascribed to Allaert Claesz, active 16th c.). (Two Highwaymen
May 07, 1:30 PM CEST
CLAESZ -- MONOGRAMMIST AC (ascribed to Allaert Claesz, active 16th c.). (Two Highwaymen
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €160- €200
€1600 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Old Masters Prints


Fichter Kunsthandel

Fichter Kunsthandel

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste

Burgersdijk & Niermans

Burgersdijk & Niermans

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG

Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG