How did the earliest printing techniques in Europe shape visual communication at the end of the medieval era and the start of the modern, c.1450–1600?

  • Co-Director, Book and Print Initiative

  • Director, Printing Colour Project, http://www.printingcolourproject.com

  • Convenor, London Rare Books School courses on historical printing techniques and illustrations


PhD, Cambridge University, History of Art

MA, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

BA, University Professors Program, Boston University


NB: Publications before 2015 were as ‘Elizabeth Upper’.

Books & Exhibition Texts

  • 2019: Early Colour Printing: German Renaissance Woodcuts at the British Museum (London: Paul Holberton Press in association with the British Museum, in press for October 2019), ISBN 978-1-911300-75-5

  • 2015: German Renaissance Colour Prints (British Museum, Nov 2015-Jan 2016), 35,000 visitors

  • 2015: Ad Stijnman/Elizabeth Savage, eds., Printing Colour 1400–1700: Histories, Techniques, Functions and Receptions, Library of the Written World: Handpress World 41, ed. Andrew Pettegree (Leiden: Brill, 2015); reprint 2015. ISBN 978-90-04-29011-2. DOI: 10.1163/9789004290112

  • 2013: Tudor Colour Printing (Cambridge University Library, Dec 2013-Jan 2014), exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk/tudorcolour (40,000 visitors)


Articles & Chapters

  • [2019]: ‘Hans Baldung Grien and Hans Wechtlin: Strasbourg’s First Colour Printmakers’, in Hans Baldung Grien. heilig | unheilig, ed. Holger Jacob-Friesen (Karlsruhe: Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, forthcoming 2019)

  • 2019: ‘Johann Schott as Hans Baldung’s Colour Printer, 1510–12’, Burlington Magazine, October/November 2019: 822–831

  • 2019: Armida Sodo/Ludovica Ruggiero/Stefano Ridolfi/Elizabeth Savage/Luca Valbonetti/Maria Antonietta Ricci, ‘Dating of a Unique Six-Colour Relief print by Historical and Archaeometric Methods’, European Physics Journal Plus 134, special issue: Scientific Research in Conservation Science (June 2019): 276 (9 pp.) DOI: 10.1140/epjp/i2019-12718-7

  • 2018: Elizabeth Savage/Ad Stijnman, ‘Une histoire des matériaux et techniques de l’impression en couleur en Occident’, 171–198  //  ‘A History of the Materials and Techniques of Colour Printing in the West’, 199–222, Under the Rainbow, ed. Tatiana Rihs (Lausanne: Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, 2018)

  • 2018: ‘Hans Burgkmair’s Colour Prints: An Overview’, Hans Burgkmair. Neue Forschungen, Veröffentlichungen des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte in München, ed. Wolfgang Augustyn/Manuel Teget-Welz (Passau: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte/Dietmar Klinger, 2018), 333–366

  • 2018: Elisabeth Giselbrecht/Elizabeth Savage, ‘Printing Music: Technical Challenges and Synthesis, 1450–1530’, Early Music Printing in German-Speaking Lands, ed. Elisabeth Giselbrecht/Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl/Grantley McDonald (London: Ashgate, 2018), 84–99, plates 1–17

  • 2018: Séverine Lepape/Elizabeth Savage, ‘Hans Burgkmair, L’Emperor Maximilian à cheval’, in Gravure en clair-obscur. Cranach, Raphaël, Rubens, ed. Séverine Lepape (Paris: Musée du Louvre/Liénart, 2018), 36–39

  • 2018: Séverine Lepape/Elizabeth Savage, ‘Hans Burgkmair, Couple d’amants surprise par la Mort’, in Gravure en clair-obscur. Cranach, Raphaël, Rubens, ed. Séverine Lepape (Paris: Musée du Louvre/Liénart, 2018), 44–45

  • 2018: ‘Anicius Manlius Boethis, De consolatione philosophiae’, in Colard Mansion: Incunabula, Prints and Manuscripts in Medieval Bruges, ed. Evelien Hauwaerts/Evelien de Wilde/Ludo Vandamme (Heule: Snoeck; Bruges: Groeninge Museum, 2018), 83

  • 2018: ‘Alain Chartier, Le Quadrilogue invective’, in Colard Mansion: Incunabula, Prints and Manuscripts in Medieval Bruges, ed. Evelien Hauwaerts/Evelien de Wilde/Ludo Vandamme (Heule: Snoeck; Bruges: Groeninge Museum, 2018), 84

  • 2017: ‘Die Farbholzschnitte von Lucas Cranach dem Älteren: Werke und Druckzustände’, in Lucas Cranach der Älter. Meister Marke Moderne, ed. Gunnar Heydenreich/Daniel Görres/Beat Wismer (Düsseldorf: Hirmer; Museum Kunstpalast, 2017), 58–62

  • 2016: ‘The Mystery of the “Scrappy Fragments”: Untangling Robert Steele’s Discovery of Frisket Sheets’, Printing History (American Printing History Association) New Series 19 (Jan 2016): 16–32

  • 2015: ‘Jost de Negker’s Woodcut Charles V (1519): An Undescribed Example of Gold Printing’, Art in Print 5/2 (July-Aug 2015): 9–15

  • 2015: ‘New Evidence of Erhard Ratdolt’s Working Practices: The After-Life of Two Red Frisket-Sheets from the Missale Constantiense (1505)’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society New Series 22 (Spring 2015): 81–97.

  • 2015: Ad Stijnman/Elizabeth Savage, ‘“Material Colours”: The Heritage of Colour Knowledge in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Printshops’, Colour Histories: Science Art, and Technology in the 17th and 18th Centuries, ed. Magdalena Bushart/Friedrich Steinle (Berlin/New York: De Gruyter, 2015), 95–113, 364–369

  • 2015: Ad Stijnman/Elizabeth Savage, ‘A Historical Overview of Printed Colour before 1700′, in Printing Colour 1400–1700, 1–7 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). DOI: 10.1163/9789004290112_002

  • 2015: Ad Stijnman/Elizabeth Savage, ‘Materials and Techniques of Early Colour Printing: A General Survey’, in Printing Colour 1400–1700, 11–22 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). DOI: 10.1163/9789004290112_003

  • 2015: ‘Colour Printing in Relief before 1700: A Technical History’, in Printing Colour 1400–1700, 23–41 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). DOI: 10.1163/9789004290112_004

  • 2015: ‘A Printer’s Art: The Development and Influence of Colour Printmaking in the German Lands, c.1476-c.1600′, in Printing Colour 1400–1700, 93–102 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). DOI: 10.1163/9789004290112_010

  • 2015: Ad Stijnman/Elizabeth Savage, ‘Chronology: Developments in Colour Printing 1400–1700’, in Printing Colour 1400–1700, 93–102 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). DOI: 10.1163/9789004290112_023

  • 2014: ‘Red Frisket Sheets, c. 1490–1700: The Earliest Artefacts of Colour Printing in the West’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 108/4 (Dec 2014): 477–522. DOI: 10.1086/681568.

  • 2014: Ad Stijnman/Elizabeth Upper, ‘Color Prints before Erhard Ratdolt: Engraved Paper Instruments in Lazarus Beham’s Buch von der Astronomie (Cologne: Nicolaus Götz, c. 1476)’, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 89 (2014): 86–105

  • 2014: ‘Flying Colours’, Apollo (June-July 2014), 44–49

  • 2012: Elisabeth Giselbrecht/Elizabeth Upper, ‘Glittering Woodcuts and Moveable Music: Decoding the Elaborate Printing Techniques, Purpose and Patronage of the Liber selectarum cantionum (1520)’, in Senfl-Studien I, ed. Birgit Lodes/Stefan Gasch, 17–67, Wiener Forum für ältere Musikgeschichte 5 (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2012)



  • [2019]: Review of Kathryn M. Rudy, ed., Image, Knife, and Gluepot: Early Assemblage in Manuscript and Print (2019), The Library (2019): forthcoming

  • [2019]: Review of Edward H. Wouk, Frans Floris (1519/20–1570): Imagining a Northern Renaissance, Oud Holland: Journal for Art of the Low Countries (2019): forthcoming

  • [2019]: Review of Lucy Peltz, Facing the Text: Extra-Illustration, Print Culture and Society in Britain 1769–1840, L’Illustrazione (2019): forthcoming

  • 2018: Review of Suzanne Karr Schmidt, Interactive and Sculptural Printmaking in the Renaissance, Burlington Magazine (November 2018): 980–981

  • 2018: Review of Susanna Berger, Philosophy of Art, Renaissance Quarterly 71/3 (September 2018), 1165–1166

  • 2018: Review of Eric Marshall White, Editio princeps, Journal of the Printing Historical Society New Series 28 (March 2018): 97–98

  • 2018: Review of Kathryn M. Rudy, Rubrics, Images and Indulgences in Late Medieval Netherlandish Manuscripts, Piety in Pieces, and Postcards on Parchment, The Library (June 2018), 231–232

  • 2018: Review of Tributes to Jean Michel Massing, ed. Mark Stocker/Phillip G. Lindley, Burlington Magazine CLX (January 2018): 74

  • 2017: ‘A Renaissance Art History of the Blockbook Canticum canticorum’ (review of Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, Allegory of Divine Love), Print Quarterly 34/3 (2017): 319–324

  • 2014: ‘Renaissance Colour Prints at the Royal Academy are Unmissable’ (review of Renaissance Impressions, Royal Academy of Art, London), The Conversation (2014)

  • 2013: ‘Printing the Rainbow’ (review of Michael Twyman, A History of Chromolithography), Apollo (Dec 2013): 112–13

  • 2013: Review of Byron and Politics: ‘Born for Opposition’ (Maughan Library, Kings College London), SHARP News (Society of the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) 22/4 (Autumn 2013): 14

  • 2013: ‘White Spirit’ (review of Victoria George, Whitewash and the New Aesthetic of the Protestant Reformation), Apollo (June 2013): 124–25

  • 2013: ‘Celebrating Maximilian I’s Augsburg’ (review of Gregory Jecman and Freyda Spira, Imperial Augsburg), Print Quarterly 30/2 (June 2013): 183–86

  • 2013: ‘Crafting Prints’ (review of Ad Stijnman, Engraving and Etching 1400–2000), Apollo Magazine (Feb 2013): 92–93

  • 2012: ‘Review of Shakespeare: Staging the World (British Museum), SHARP News (Society of the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) 21/4 (Autumn 2012): 18

  • 2012: ‘Printed Paintings’ (review of Hercules Segers and his ‘Printed Paintings’, British Museum), Apollo (Mar 2012): 178–179

  • 2012: ‘The Wonders of the Kunstkammer: Hapsburg Collections Come to Cambridge’, review of Splendour & Power: Imperial Treasures from Vienna (Fitzwilliam Museum), Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies (Apr 2012): 10–13

  • 2012: ‘Plays of Light and Blazes of Colour’ (review of Melanie Grimm, et al., Lichtspiel und Farbenpracht), Print Quarterly 29 (Mar 2012): 48–49

  • 2010: ‘A Happy (Re)marriage’ (review of Ad Stijnman and Claudia Kleine-Tebbe, Hochzeit von Bild und Buch), Print Quarterly 27/4 (Dec 2010): 401

  • 2009: ‘A Visual Timeline for A Heavenly Craft’ (review of A Heavenly Craft, ed. Daniel De Simone), Print Quarterly 26 (Dec 2009): 371–373


Selected Online Publications


Selected Outreach Publications

  • 2010: Nancy Thebaut/Elizabeth Upper, ‘Earth Movers: Quaking up Land Art’s Legacy of Feminism’, Bitch 48 (Fall 2010): 36–42

  • 2010: ‘Zao Wou-Ki and the Art of Nature’, Above 13 (Spring 2010): 166–83

  • 2009: ‘Dr Livingstone’s Lament: An Unpublished Letter by David Livingstone’, Above 11 (Winter 2009): 86–87

Blog Posts


    • Association of Print Scholars: Founding Jury Member, Grants Program (2017–2019)

    • Bibliographical Society: Member

    • International Council of Museums (ICOM): Member

    • Printing Historical Society: Grants and Prizes Committee & Publications Committee, Member

    • Royal Historical Society: Fellow (FRHistS)

    • Royal Society of Arts: Fellow (FRSA)

    Elizabeth Savage

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    Active 1 year ago