BOOKS about Old Master Prints


A)  Discounted NEW books direct from Bodkin Prints

1) Charles Meryon by Roger Collins - only £23 inc Uk p&p, new hardback

2)  Raphael, Dürer, and Marcantonio Raimondi - Copying and the Italian      Renaissance Print by Lisa Pon - only £17 inc Uk p&p, new hardback

3) Battle of the Nudes - Pollaiuolo's Renaissance Masterpiece - only £14

4) Copper into Gold - Prints by John Raphael Smith, 1751-1812 by Ellen G D'Oench - only £21 inc Uk p&p, new hardback

5) The Prints of the Pont-Aven School - Gauguin and his Circle in Brittany

6) Gravure and grace, The engravings of Roger Vieillard, only £9, new pb


B)  General Books on Prints - we don't sell these


A)                    CLICK HERE TO BUY ANY OF THESE

Prices include delivery within UK. Contact us for € / $ prices & delivery cost.


1)  Charles Meryon by Roger Collins.  Garton & Co, Devises 1999, pub at £55 / $95.  8 1/2 x 12 inches.  Hardback with dust-wrapper, NEW, in publishers sealed cardboard pack.  Our price just £23.00 inc Uk p&p.


-The definitive biography in English of the great French etcher. 304pp, 100 illustrations, 1 fold-out, 2 in colour.  Have not read my copy yet, but by repute is excellent.  Corrects many distortions that have grown up.


2)  Raphael, Dürer, and Marcantonio Raimondi - Copying and the Italian Renaissance Print by Lisa Pon, Yale UP,2004, 10 1/4 x 8 inches.   Hardback with dust-wrapper, NEW  Published at £40 / $60. Our price just £17 inc Uk p&p.


- Highly praised (see review excerpts) study of the context and development of the wily Marcantonio's prints, including an analysis of his treatment by Vasari.  216pp, 94 illus,many in colour.


3)  Battle of the Nudes - Pollaiuolo's Renaissance Masterpiece by Shelley Langdale.  Cleveland Museum of Art, 2002,  8 1/2 x 11 inches, Paperback 86pp, many illustrations, some in colour. NEW, in publisher's shrinkwrap.

Published at $30,  Our price just £14 inc Uk p&p


-Published for exhibition based around Cleveland's unique first state impression of this famous engraving.  The 22 exhibited items include 12 prints, 1 painting, 6 drawings, 2 sculptures & 1 nielloed book cover. Excellent 30 page essay plus appendix with full descriptions of the 46 known impressions of both states of the print.  Several items from BM, Windsor & V&A exhibited. Many greatly enlarged details compared between states.  Must be among the fullest works ever devoted to a single print.


4)  Copper into Gold - Prints by John Raphael Smith, 1751-1812 by Ellen G D'Oench.  Yale UP, 1999, 10 3/8 x 8 inches. Hardback with dust-wrapper, NEW  Published at £50 / $65. Our price just £21 inc Uk p&p


The first full -length study since 1902 of this important mezzotinter, 300pp, 188 illus. With 184pp monograph and catalogue raissoné with 399 prints by & 56 after, works exhibited etc.


5)  The Prints of the Pont-Aven School - Gauguin and his Circle in Brittany by Caroline Boyle-Turner.  Abbeville Press, NY 1986, 8.6 x 11.2 inches,143 pp. Paperback with colour dust-wrapper.  Many illustrations, some in colour.

NEW, showing very slight shelf wear (from the back of the warehouse!).

Our price just £14 inc Uk p&p


-Catalogue to exhibition by the Smithsonian which toured 9 US museums, the RA in London and the Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam.  In all 9 artists shown, including Gauguin, Seguin and Sérusier.  Splendid, little-known works.


6) Gravure and grace, The engravings of Roger Vieillard, ed PMS Hacker

Ashmolean Museum 1993, 9 3/5 x 7 1/2 inches. Paperback, 104pp, 30 full page illus. NEW Our price just £9 inc Uk p&p


Catalogue of Ashmolean / National Museum of Wales exhibition soon after his death in 1989.  Includes 2 essays, biographical memoir, List of his prints (over 330 items) etc.





 B) General Books on prints - chosen by Bodkin Prints


We do not sell the books below ourselves, but please use the Amazon UK buttons to buy them, as we get a commission on everything you buy in your session, at no cost to you.


1) The best introductions to Old Master Prints are both still in print in both the US & UK:


Prints and Printmaking by Antony Griffiths


Recent 3rd edition - only changes are I think updated bibliography.

160 pages, 123 b/w illustrations plus 12 colour plates. Only in paperback.


Very clear & thorough introduction to the subject, by the Head of the British Museum Prints & Drawings Dept., organised by printing technique, but working into this a largely chronological survey of the artistic achievement of the print.  Coverage to about 1970 - it was first published 1980.  Includes very full glossary & summary bibliography with some comments on the books.  A relatively quick read.



Prints and People (A social history of printed pictures) by A. Hyatt Mayor


First published 1971.  752 b/w illustrations.  400-odd pages (only the illustrations are numbered). Only in paperback (?)


Very lively and original book by former Head of Metropolitan NY Prints Dept.  Written in terse unacademic & opinionated style. Organised into about 150 short articles - typically say 800 words and 5 pictures - on artists, subject areas, places and other topics.  Moves broadly chronologically forwards, but is always ready to jump around periods within a topic.  Only the pictures are numbered.  Coverage up to c1960, but relatively less on 1850 onwards.

Both the great artists of the medium and popular forms of printed images are very well covered.


2) There are relatively few books on more specific subjects related to prints published - far, far fewer than on painting or other areas of the arts.  This is true for both general and academic publishers.   Partly this is because, far more than with painting, print historians tend to work for museums rather than universities, and to produce exhibition catalogues rather than books. 

The other most common form of book is the catalogue raisonné of the graphic work of a particular artist.  The Print Council of America provide an online database of these. 


One notable exception to the above is The Renaissance Print (1470-1550)  by David Landau and Peter Parshall 433 pages, with 383 illustrations, mostly in b/w.  1994, recent 2nd edn. HB & PB  from Yale


This is an important book, which covers the rise and fall, as it were, of the renaissance print, with much emphasis on the social, economic and business context in which prints were produced (where there is any evidence for this, which is unfortunately not very often).  A particular interest is taken in Chiaroscuro woodcuts and in the beginnings of the reproductive print.  


It should be noted that the authors begin their Preface by saying:


"Since this study makes no pretense to offering a survey of its subject, we have been highly selective in our choice of topics, artists, and regions, sometimes giving little attention to important matters that have been closely studied elsewhere." 


This is certainly true, but in the absence of accessible alternative studies it seems often to be overlooked, and the book described as a general survey of printmaking in the period.


For a detailed survey, which covers all major artists and very many minor ones: A History of Engraving and Etching by Arthur M Hind.   First published in 1908, although revised twice to cover up to 1914.  487pp, 110 small illustrations.   At times this turns into a listing of artists and influences, but the major artists are given succinct appreciations which have dated suprisingly little in most cases.   Hind was Keeper of the British Museum Collection.   Woodcuts are not covered.  Still in print from Dover Books.


Out of print, but still available new in the US as a remainder is Six Centuries of Master Prints - Treasures from the Herbert Greer French Collection from the Cincinatti Art Museum.   341pp, about 250 illustrations, some in colour. PB only.  Published 1993 at $50. This large-format book catalogues 150 prints, from c1465 to 1937, with unusually full commentaries by a distinguished team of ten print historians, including Suzanne Boorsch, Mark J Zucker & Jane Campbell Hutchison.   These are written for non-specialists, and the book therefore functions very well as an overview of artist's prints over the whole period.  It is arranged chronologically, and reaches 1560 at 65, and Goya at 119 of the 150.



The best book on the appearance of prints - how to distinguish between techniques, fine and worn impressions, fakes and so on, is How Prints Look by William M Ivins Jr (revised ed MB Cohn).   First pub 1943, revised 1987. 188 pp, about 120 illustrations.  Most of the book consists of enlarged details of prints (which are only named at the back of the book) with very clearly written notes below explaining what you are looking at.   Ivins was Curator at the Metropolitan NY.


3)  Very reasonably priced books of complete illustrated prints by artist (the Dover ones are especially cheap via Amazon now):


Rembrandt - all at actual size, including fold-out sheets for the largest.  Over 300 prints, with some notes and introductory text.  Some multiple states are shown, but mostly just one state per print.  Dover.


Dürer - Engravings, etchings & drypoints, 105 items, plus some formerly attributed.  235 pp.  Good notes by Walter Strauss.  Most people would prefer these over the woodcuts, if the choice is needed.  Dover

Dürer - Woodcuts,  346 items with 37 pages of text at the start. Dover



Piranesi - 1029 etchings, 799 pp from  Taschen, who also do a smaller book on Piranesi.   This one is 10 inches tall, which means most prints are considerably reduced. 


Jacques Bellange by Antony Griffiths & Craig Hartley - Out of print exhibition catalogue with full notes, 40 pages of introductory essays etc.  144pp covering 48 prints, including multiple states. 35 other illustrations.


Los Caprichos by Goya - Dover do a number of Goya's print series: Los Proverbios, the Disasters of War etc.  This is the most famous & arguably the greatest.



4) There are longer lists of books on Prints in the bibliography of Prints and Printmaking by Antony Griffiths, with comments, and there are a few general books listed on the British Museum P&D Dept website


The Cincinatti catalogue above has a long select bibliography (to 1992/3) with no comments. 


Here are the reading lists for the courses on prints taught by Professor Stephen Goddard at the University of Kansas, with no comments.


I don't know of a up to date, publicly accessible online, selected reading list or bibliography for prints with comments - if anyone does, please let me know!





          These images have now been removed



Nemesis (or The Large Fortune)

Albrecht Dürer



Wild Horses Fighting

Hans Burgkmair



Two Fighting Apprentices

Martin Schongauer



The Poet

Jusepe de Ribera



Lovers Suprised by Death

Hans Burgkmair




The Farnese Hercules

Hendrik Goltzius




Leda and the Swan

Giulio Campagnola (attributed)




The Small Horse

Albrecht Dürer







Stallion attempting to mate

Hans Baldung Grien




Theseus finding the Arms

of his Father

GB Castiglione




The Prodigal Son

Albrecht Dürer




Drunken Silenus

Jusepe de Ribera



The Young Shepherd

Giulio Campagnola



Jupiter & Antiope




The Bodies of SS Peter and Paul

hidden in the Catacombs

GB Castiglione