Revista de Estudios Sociales
Print version ISSN 0123-885X
ZALAMEA, Patricia. Printmaking as strategy: mediating between originals and copies. rev.estud.soc. [online]. 2008, n.30, pp. 58-71. ISSN 0123-885X.
By tracing the origins of printmaking in Europe between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, this article explores the self-reflexive possibilities of the medium, whose reproductive abilities redefine Western art in a number of ways. It establishes a comparison between the phenomenon of replication in both prints and paintings, in connection to the Renaissance notion of artistic identity and signatures, which may be understood as an extension of the artist's persona. Similarly, it analyzes the ways in which prints question the relationship between originals and copies, both historically and in terms of our current understanding of reproductions, while probing concepts such as invention and imitation, as well as the artist's hand. Using this background information, an interpretation of a specific engraving, the Nymph of Fontainebleau, is proposed. Attributed to Pierre Milán and René Boyvin, this work may be read as an artistic declaration about print's ability to recreate other visual media, and to extend itself both in space and time.
Keywords : Printmaking; Renaissance; artistic identity; imitation; copy; original.