Fashionable and pretty, a shapely young woman lifts her long skirts above the pavement, stranded by puddles of rain. In 1893 it was irresistible, and on the strength of this one print alone a hundred middle-class Parisians bought the first issue of l'Estampe originale. This was a novel project by the Journal of Artists to sell prints by subscription. But these were no mediocre reproductions of old masters. The artists and publisher claimed that the contemporary, original print was a modern work of art; a manifesto supported by established contributors such as Odilon Redon and Auguste Rodin, as well as young unknowns such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard.

Bridgestone Museum of Art's current exhibition reveals this revolution in graphic art at the turn of the century and the renaissance of a medium that is so familiar today: the limited edition artist's print.

As with so many artistic movements, it centered on Paris. In the 1880s, Paris was a caldron of creativity, spreading its heady vapors round the globe. The city was a cultural crossroads, connected by swift new transport to every major capital in the world, and undergoing a rapid physical transformation from medieval city to modern metropolis. The Eiffel Tower, built 100 years after the French Revolution, symbolized new visions of progress. Technology, communications, rapid change and internationalism: All the most familiar aspects of city life today were already alive and kicking in late 19th-century Paris.