Unidentified copyist at the Prado. Students would sit before the works of the great masters and attempt to copy them in order to learn from the master, as do students today.
But there were other reasons for
copyist. Remember, the idea of high quality color prints were almost nonexistent.
Many new emerging middle class patrons wanted (not original art) but copies
of the great European masters to hang in their homes. It was a way for
a young artist, not only to learn, but to make some money and break into