Printmaking of many ages is covered by this collection of more than 486,000 items, incorporating both individual prints and various kinds of albums. The engraving techniques used in Europe - woodcut, chisel and drypoint, etching, aquatint, mezzotint, monochrome and colour lithography - are all represented here, Italian, French, English and Dutch works of the 17th and 18th centuries forming the most important part of the department.
Celebrated artists of the 17th to 19th centuries are well covered by the collection; for instance the museum possesses one of the most extensive collections of Rembrandt's works in the world, more than 600 items in all, and has many etchings by the Dutch artist Adriaen van Ostade. There are albums of engravings by the popular English satirist William Hogarth and an interesting collection of albums with hand-coloured engravings by Thomas Rowlandson, series of etchings by the Venetians Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Canaletto, plus interesting albums and individual prints by the remarkable French artist Jacques Callot. The French Romantic artist Theodore Gericault produced some outstanding works, but the jewels of the 19th-century collection are of course the lithographs of Honore Daumier and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
German prints of the 19th and 20th centuries cover the work of Adolph von Menzel, Wilhelm Leibl, Kathe Kollwitz and Max Klinger. In the 20th century, artists have been generous with gifts of their own works, and there is a representative selection of works by Marc Chagall, Rockwell Kent, Renato Guttuso, Giacomo Manzu, Emilio Greco and Francesco Messina.
The Temptation of St Anthony (fragment)
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