Before Dürer: The Early Engraving

Engraving is one of the oldest techniques used in Europe to print images. From around 1430/40, it offered goldsmiths and painters new expressive possibilities. Initially employed to produce simple depictions for everyday use, it soon evolved into a medium for artistically sophisticated creations distinguished by captivating immediacy and narrative inventiveness. Ranging from early examples by anonymous masters to prints by such artists as Martin Schongauer and Israhel van Meckenem and finally the works of Albrecht Dürer until around 1500, the German and Netherlandish engravings in the holdings of the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings convey the fascination of this development.

View the collection’s early engravings here.

38 Artworks
Created by
Städel Museum

Also worth seeing