Copying was a common and important artistic practice during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Artists made copies as part of their training, to demonstrate or improve their skill, or to reproduce an image as a print from which multiple copies could be made. A copy might be intended as a sincere—and flattering—imitation, or as a willful forgery of a celebrated original work.
Johann Ladenspelder (German, 1515–c. 1580), after Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528), Adam and Eve, c. 1550. Engraving and etching on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. The William J. Collins Collection, 1958.107