Fighting metaphorically against the material he carves his images on, the engraver expresses his most inner feelings. At the same time he describes the main historical event he has either lived or witnessed. Political and religious struggles, conquests and social revolution, geographical discoveries, technological and scientific progress – any fact can draw the artist’s attention..
Some great masters of the past gave up easy earnings and devoted themselves to this free and spontaneous if demanding art. Though engraving has usually been considered inferior to painting, it deserves great attention, and indeed the very first form of artistic expression was achieved through the burin and only later through the brush.
Engravers contributed to the diffusion of their art by opening schools and workshops where apprentices could learn the basic techniques, developing their own artistic sense. Thus printmaking began to flourish and to be known worldwide. By the XVII century, when the first great collectors date back, the trade of prints was already thriving.