Printing Colour 1400–1700

Printing Colour 1400–1700: Histories, Techniques, Functions and Receptions

Ad Stijnman/Elizabeth Savage, eds.
Library of the Written World: Handpress World 41 (Leiden: Brill, 2015); reprint 2015

In Printing Colour 1400–1700, Ad Stijnman and Elizabeth Savage offer the first handbook of early modern colour printmaking before 1700 (when most such histories begin), creating a new, interdisciplinary paradigm for the history of graphic art. It unveils a corpus of thousands of individual colour prints from across early modern Europe, proposing art historical, bibliographical, technical and scientific contexts for understanding them and their markets. 

The twenty-three contributions represent the state of research in this still-emerging field. From the first known attempts in the West until the invention of the approach we still use today (blue-red-yellow-black/‘key’, now CMYK), it demonstrates that colour prints were not rare outliers, but essential components of many early modern book, print and visual cultures. 


every dealer, collector, and curator of old master prints will need this volume in their library

Honourable Mention, International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) Book Awards


major advance in our knowledge

Roger Gaskell, The Library

the most complete panorama…of the current state of research

De Boekenwerld