A Space of Their Own

Maria Katharina Prestel

July 22, 1747 – March 16, 1794

Active in: Germany and England
Alternate names: Catherine, Katerine, Katharina; maiden name Höll


Born Maria Katharina Höll in 1747, Prestel was a pupil of the Nuremberg-based printmaker Johann Gottlieb Prestel. They married in 1769 and working alongside him, Prestel became a skilled printmaker herself, primarily in aquatint and etching. Together they had a daughter, Ursula Magdalena Prestel, born in 1777. In 1786, Prestel separated from her husband and moved with her daughter to England.

It was in London that Prestel found success and admiration for her large landscape prints. She produced aquatint prints after works by Dutch, German, and Italian masters, as well as reproductions of important landscape paintings by Thomas Gainsborough. She died in London in 1794, and her daughter moved to Brussels where she made a career for herself as an artist.

Selected Works


Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: Bio-bibliographischer Indez A–Z. Munich: Saur, 1999–2000.

Bénézit, Emmanuel. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et gravures de tous les temps et de tous les pays. Paris: Gründ, 1999.

CLARA. “Maria Katharina Prestel.” https://wayback.archive-it.org/2972/20181114153352/http://clara.nmwa.org/index.php?g=entity_detail&entity_id=6786.

Greer, Germaine. The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1979.

Kiermeier-Debre, Joseph, and Fritz Franz Vogel. Kunst kommt von Prestel das Künstlerehepaar Johann Gottlieb und Maria Katharina Prestel. Cologne, 2008.

RKD. “Katharina Prestel.” https://rkd.nl/explore/artists/343147.

Royal Academy. “Katharina Prestel (1747–1794).” https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/katharina-prestel.

Schwaighofer, Claudia-Alexandra. Die Kunst der Nachahmung: Dürer, Carracci und Parmiagianino in den Reproduktionsgraphiken der Nürnbergerin Maria Katharina Prestel (1747–1794). Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2006.

Sparrow, Walter Shaw. Women Painters of the World, from the Time of Caterina Vigri. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1905.

Thieme, Ulirch, and Felix Becker. Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künsler: von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Leipzig: Seemann, 1907–50.