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It is believed that German artist Daniel Hopfer introduced the medium of etching sometime in the late 1400s; since then, the method of printmaking has been used worldwide by renowned artists and amaterus alike. During its initial development, etching was used to decorate armor as well as household items, such as cups and plates. The benefits of etching were recognized by artists, particularly as etching required little training in comparison to the art of engraving. Etching was one of the techniques adopted by the Old Masters in printing, including Rembrandt's 'Wide-Eyed' self-portrait (1630), which today is on display in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. This technique is still widely used today, as demonstrated by Jan Hladík's portrait of the post-Impressionist artist, Alberto Giacometti. Besides portraits, there are also famous examples of landscapes and life scenes created by etching, such as Picasso's animal prints from the 1930s and 1940s.

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