Since the establishment of the Galleria degli autoritratti in the Uffizi, numerous publications have been produced, which made these self-portraits available in print to art connoisseurs from further afield. One of the less noticed ones is this series of mezzotints by Carlo Lasinio. The article examines the invention of four-colour printing and why it was not successful for a long time. Annalena Döring investigates what the requirements for printed portraits were. In the article these are brought into proximity with the natural sciences and it is considered whether artistry played a secondary role in printed portraits.