Reproductive prints—copies specifically made to replicate drawings or paintings—were collected, studied, and enjoyed widely in the eighteenth century. Interest in collecting reproductive prints stimulated new developments in printmaking techniques, including the mezzotint process and color printing. In a domestic setting, prints might be assembled in a portfolio or framed and hung on a wall as decoration.
Georges Keating (Irish, 1762–1842), after Joshua Reynolds (English, 1723–1792), Her Grace the Duchess of Devonshire and the Right Honorable Lady Georgiana Cavendish, 1787. Mezzotint and engraving on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1943, 1955.1915