When an artist copies his or her own work, the resulting images might be reproductions or variations on the same theme. The nineteenth-century French artists featured in this section used lithography and etching, techniques that relied primarily on drawing, to make different versions of painted compositions. Printmaking allowed these artists to explore an idea in a different medium, share their work with a wider public, and profit from the sale of multiple versions of an image.
Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883), The Execution of Emperor Maximilian, 1868, printed 1884. Lithograph on chine collé on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Acquired in memory of Rafael Fernandez (Curator of Prints and Drawings, 1975–1994) with contributions from his friends, colleagues, and students, 2000.4