Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud


One of the allegedly “poor” relatives in any graphic collection is the counterproof. This simple means of reproducing a drawing has, however, always played a significant role, alongside the artist’s copy. Thus for instance a lot of counterproofs were made in eighteenth century France from ruddle drawings done by artists such as Boucher and Watteau. One simply placed a lightly dampened sheet of paper on the original drawing and, with just a light press and no other intervention, received a counterproof. The Wallraf has dedicated a special exhibition exclusively to this method, which explores the artistic beauty and the various functions of the counterproof. Is it just a trivial repetition, or is it in fact an original, mirror reversed through 180 degrees?