Past auctions with graphic prints:

Sam Francis, Untitled (SF-331), Lithograph in Colors, 1988

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March 27, 2015

This assortment of photographs and prints from 1900 to today includes numerous modern artworks. Renowned artists like Gerhard Richter, Robert Rauschenberg and Ryan McGinnes are the perfect addition to both new and older collections. A limited edition lithograph by Sam Francis, one of the most important exponents of post-war abstract art, and the lithograph ‘Elysian’, from Robert Rauschenberg’s ‘Romances’ series, are just a couple of this auction's highlights.

Sam Francis, Pioggia d’Oro (Golden Rain),

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April 24, 2015

Prints and editions hailing from the early 20th century to the present make this a fascination auction, featuring such artists as Günther Uecker, Marc Chagall and Damien Hirst. One of the many appealing works is a 1988 aquatint in colors entitled ‘Pioggia d’Oro (Golden Rain)’ by Sam Francis, which is limited to only 30 copies. Also not to be missed is the commissioned work by Heinz Mack, a limited edition, hand-signed embossing with aluminum.

Markus Lüpertz, Poster Markus Lüpertz, Serigraphy, 1984

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April 24, 2015

The photographs and prints in this auction provided both passionate collectors and auction initiates with an optimal opportunity to purchase fine artworks at attractive starting prices. The oversize serigraph for the Markus Lüpertz exhibition in the year 1984 makes for an incredibly rare work, as it is the only specimen of this small edition of three that was printed on corrugated cardboard, making it simply unique. A vibrantly colored serigraph featuring a self-portrait by Joseph Beuys made for a further must-have item.

Every graphic print is an original

Stanley William Hayter, Radierung ‘Sorcier‘, France, 1953

Limited treasures

Although graphic prints are usually printed in small numbers, which prevents them from being considered unique, they are to be regarded as fully-fledged originals. Every graphic print is however unique in that it embodies an artistic notion, which could only be implemented with the chosen printing technique. Furthermore, it is common practice to make the printing plate unusable following the completion of the printing run, which prevents further duplication.

A single graphic print is called a copy. The total number of copies forms the print run, whose quantity is solely determined by the artist and usually lies between 20 to 100 copies. This limitation is representative of the value of the graphical print. The handwritten numbering and signatures provided by the artist vouches for the originality of the prints and are mostly executed in pencil. This is because it is impossible to erase pencil without damaging the paper itself. With Auctionata, you can regularly purchase graphic prints from a wide range of epochs, masters and techniques during our online auctions.

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Pinnacles of artistic multiplicity

Daniel Hopfer, Etching, Village Feast, Germany, around 1500

Graphic print masterpieces

The term graphic print is generally understood to mean the reproduction of artistic drawings through printing techniques. Graphic prints therefore belong to the realm of fine arts, as they aim to use the printing process as an independent tool of original artistic expression. The artist consciously makes use of the various printing techniques available to him, along with their creative properties, such as woodcut, chalcography, etching and lithography, in order to produce the desired artistic expression.

The first religious graphic prints were created around the year 1400 with the use of so-called ‘popular prints’. The first chalcography was produced in 1446 as a result of the growing production of paper. Both techniques were subsequently perfected by Albrecht Dürer, Raffael and Michelangelo. The year 1513 saw the creation of the first etching, which greatly simplified the creation of graphic prints. With the development of lithography in the year 1803, the perfection of printing technique reached a new high, which offered artists new opportunities for artistic expression.

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Variety of printing techniques

Münchner Bilderbogen, No. I, Hand-Coloured, around 1900

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Popular prints

Popular prints is a term for the earliest form of printed image during the period between 1400 and 1550. They are one-sided prints on paper with clearly drawn figures and a lack of spatiality and movement. They usually only consist of contour lines that have been elaborately colored afterwards.

Heinrich Vogtherr II, Woodcut ‘Saint Florian‘, around 1540

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Woodcuts are graphics created using a wooden printing block. The parts not to be printed are removed using a carving knife and the protruding pieces are dyed. Printing is achieved using a bone folder by hand or a printing press. Woodcut is a relief printing technique.

Engraving ‘Apotheosis of Tsar Alexander I’, F. de Meys, 19th C

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Copper engraving

The intaglio printing process of copper engraving was first used from 1420/30 and is closely related to the engraving technique. The image to be printed is embedded into the copper plate with an etching needle. The resulting shapes and lines are dyed and printed onto paper using a roll compactor.

Édouard Manet, Etching ‘Portrait Charles Baudelaire’, 1865

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The earliest etchings date back to 1513. For etchings, the printing plate is adapted using either chemical cauterization or an etching needle made of hard steel. Due to this, the technique is also an intaglio printing procedure. The dye gathers in the resulting dents, before finally being printed onto damp paper using a roll compactor.

Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997), Aquatint, Self-Portrait, 1997

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The aquatint technique was invented between 1765 and 1768 and is still used by artists today. This intaglio printing technique is a special method for creating artistic printed graphics that use surface cauterizations to achieve diverse halftones. It is also often combined with etching.

Käthe Kollwitz, Lithograph, Self Portrait, Germany, 1924

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Lithography was invented in 1798 and is one of the most commonly used flat screen printing techniques of the 19th century. In lithography, the image is created on a lithography stone and printed onto suitable paper using a stone printing press. This technique is still used for art prints today.

Graphic prints in the Auctionata shop

Donald Baechler, Serigraph ‘Flower’, USA, 1994

Limited original prints from prominent masters

Whether colorful lithographies by contemporary artists, classic landscape and portrait chalcography prints or expressive large-scale etchings, the Auctionata shop offers a broad selection which does justice to the incredible versatility of graphic printing. The combination of printing techniques, materials and motifs offers a huge spectrum of extraordinary artworks.

Graphic prints combine two advantages. On the one hand, they can be seen as fully-fledged unique works because of their rigorous limitation and authentication by the artist, while on the other they are significantly more affordable than paintings or drawings. Therefore, the dream of owning a real Chagall, Manet or Dalí is tantalizingly close. Browse our shop, discover your personal favorite and decorate your own four walls with it.

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Some highlights in our shop

Marc Chagall (1887-1985), Lithograph in
Colors ’Jesaias’, 1956

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Top sales from previous auctions

Egon Schiele, Hand signed portfolio with 12 heliotypes, 1917

Egon Schiele, singed ‘Drawings’, 12 Heliotypes

Despite the plain title, the portfolio contains twelve masterly heliotypes of drawings by Egon Schiele. The portfolio was produced in Vienna by the renowned printer Max Jaffé under Schiele’s supervision and is one of only 400 copies. All negatives and printing plates were subsequently destroyed. The portfolio entered the auction with a starting price of €2,000 and eventually changed hands for the impressive sum of €28,800 (incl. buyer’s premium), thereby exceeding its estimated value many times over.

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Rembrandt, Etching ‘Joseph telling his Dreams‘, 1638

Rembrandt’s etching: ‘Joseph telling his Dreams‘

This etching from 1638 is an absolute masterpiece of graphic printing. Rembrandt van Rijn is one of the few old masters whose etchings are absolutely equal to his paintings in terms of pictorial and technical perfection. The etching began the auction with an attractive starting price of €1,800 and went on to attain a considerably higher hammer price of €9,285 (incl. buyer’s premium). The new owner can now proudly call himself the owner of a real Rembrandt.

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