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Albrecht Durer, "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" from "The Apocalypse Revelation of Saint John the Divine". Woodcut on paper: 39.20 x 28.20 cm (to edge of block). National Gallery of Scotland.

EDINBURGH.- A collection of iconic prints, by some of the finest European artists of the past 500 years, will be on show at the National Gallery of Scotland this spring. "The Printmaker’s Art" will highlight the enormous skill of artists such as Rembrandt, Piranesi, Hogarth, Manet and Whistler, and will include some of the most beautiful and accomplished prints ever made.

Prints are made by drawing onto a surface such as a woodblock, metal plate or lithographic stone, and then transferring the image, using a variety of means, onto a separate sheet of paper. Over the centuries, artists have exploited a diverse range of printmaking techniques to create an array of distinctive effects that cannot be achieved in any other medium. In the process many great artists, such as Blake, Goya and Toulouse-Lautrec, have produced prints that are considered to be among their most brilliant and influential works.

Highlights of "The Printmaker’s Art" will include an impression dating from 1511 of Dürer’s celebrated woodcut "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", and Rembrandt’s tour-de-force etching, "The Three Crosses".

The 30 works on display have been selected not only for their exquisite beauty, but also to trace the development of printmaking techniques over the centuries, and to demonstrate the sophisticated processes that led to their creation. "The Printmaker’s Art" also showcases the breadth and variety of the Gallery’s world-class collection of prints.

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Vedute di Roma "Anfiteatro Flavio, detto il Colosseo", 1750. Etching on paper: 38.00 x 54.00 cm. National Gallery of Scotland

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Francisco de Goya, A woman and a horse, let someone else master them (La mujer y el potro, que los dome otro), Plate 10 of Los Disparates. Etched about 1819 - 1823 (published 1864). Etching, burnished aquatint and drypoint on paper: 24.50 x 35.00 cm. National Galleries of Scotland