The Printed Picture, Hardback

The Printed Picture Hardback

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


"The Printed Picture" traces the changing technology of picture-making from the Renaissance to the present, focusing on the vital role of images in multiple copies.

It surveys printing techniques before the invention of photography; the photographic processes that began to appear in the early 19th century; the marriage of printing and photography; and, the digital inventions of our time.

From woodblocks to chromolithographs, from engravings to bar codes, from daguerreotypes to colour photographs, the book succinctly examines the full range of pictorial processes.

Exploring how pictures look by describing how they are made, author Richard Benson reaches fascinating and original conclusions about what pictures can mean.Although many of the techniques he discusses have been used to create exceptional works of art, Benson concentrates on the typical, everyday pictures that have played and continue to play such a prominent role in our lives.

Presented as a series of one-page essays opposite the pictures they examine, the book retains the lively, engaging style of the informal lectures through which Benson developed his ideas over the course of thirty years at Yale University. Rooted in hands-on descriptions of practical techniques, "The Printed Picture" offers a rich and imaginative interpretation of the enormous cultural and social influence of multiple images.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 344 pages, 326 colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Museum of Modern Art
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of art / art & design styles
  • ISBN: 9780870707216



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A wonderful, encyclopedic work on the technical aspects of printmaking and photography. This is a wonderful and easily approachable guide for art lovers or anyone curious about printmaking but may not have a background in making prints. And for working artists this is a good reference on all the possible variations of the medium. The book is also beautifully produced with great full color illustrations--essential when discussing the minute details and differences between types of prints.

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