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Ploos van Amstel and Christian Josi; two generations of printmakers working in the artful imitation of drawings

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One of the most notable works in the history of color printing is, Collection d'Imitations de dessins, d'après les principaux maîtres hollandais et flamands commencée par C. Ploos van Amstel, continuée et portée au nombre de cent morceaux, published in London in 1821. The work's importance lies in its 104 prints, which are facsimiles of drawings and watercolors by Flemish and Dutch artists of the seventeenth century. The prints so carefully reproduce the chalk and brush lines of the originals in a mechanically printed form, that they are frequently mistaken for drawings. The prints pose various questions as to who Ploos and Josi were; the role that they and their assistants played in the occupation of reproducing prints from drawings during this active period of printmaking experimentation, and the achievement that this publication represented in the nineteenth century, at a time when Holland was overcome by the adversities of war.


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