The Replication of Images

The Replication of Images

Over the course of the 15th century, printmaking techniques continued to evolve. Thanks to the simplified methods of replicating images provided by these technologies, images became more accessible and spread at much higher speeds across vast distances and between different art forms. Then came the invention of the printing press. One of German culture’s most important contributions to the late Gothic era, it continues to influence the world of media and communication to this day.

 

 

Johannes Gutenberg et al.: Gutenberg Bible (facsimile from Inc. 1511), vol. 2, pages 190 verso/191 recto © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Johannes Gutenberg et al.: Gutenberg Bible (facsimile from Inc. 1511), vol. 2, pages 190 verso/191 recto © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz

The Invention of the Printing Press

The rapid distribution of prints led to increased demand, which in turn had effects on the evolution of the technology. A key milestone in the history of media came in 1454–55, with the invention of movable type and the printing press of Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz. The ability to easily exchange letters made typesetting larger amounts of text faster, and meant that the letters could be reused over long periods of time in other contexts. Gutenberg demonstrated the potential of his invention with an impressive publication, known as the Gutenberg Bible.