Aquatint: a painterly intaglio technique

While printmakers have always wanted to present some shading or grayscale in their work, until the discovery of aquatint in the 17th century, doing so was technically very challenging.  And with a few notable exceptions, such as in the etchings of Francisco Goya, aquatint, this most painterly of intaglio techniques, remained unpracticed by most printmakers.  Aquatint started to gain popularity in the latter part of the 19th century, likely as etching was being rediscovered by Impressionists.  These artists were often eager to replicate in their prints the atmospheric qualities found in their paintings.  Aquatint, with its granular texture, lends itself to effects that offer an endless range of shading, both in black and white and in color.  Because it was practiced so masterfully by artists of the Modern Era, we here at Armstrong Fine Art are true “suckers” for a finely crafted aquatint.  Here are a few we have, or have had in the past.

Alphonse Lafitte - Manuel Robbe - Clair de Lune- aquatint Sold
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Clair de Lune

LAFITTE, Alphonse

Aquatint on wove MBM paper. Signed in black crayon "Alphonse Lafitte", a well-documented pseudonym for artist Manuel Robbe. Signed in black crayon....

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The Windmill

The Windmill

ROUX-CHAMPION, Victor-Joseph

Le Moulin (descriptive French title) Color aquatint and etching on laid Arches paper.Edition unknown, certainly small, if any.  We have never encou...

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Cachoum Sold
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DORNY, Bertrand

Embossed color aquatint with a touch of drypoint printed on Arches wove paper. Edition of 25 or 4 artist's proofs (hard to decipher). Regulard edit...

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Eugene Bejot - color etching and aquatint - bridge and Notre-Dame de Paris Sold
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The Estacade

BEJOT, Eugene

L’Estacade (original French title) Etching and aquatint printed in four colors on japon paper.Refrence: BN-IFF 174.Edition unknown, scarce.  Findin...

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Shaded River Sold
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Shaded River


Rivière Ombragée (descriptive French title)Color aquatint printed on Arches laid paper.Artist's proof, before the edition.Published by Georges Peti...

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Space Object

Space Object


Color aquatint printed on wove paper. Edition of 40. Published by Jacqueline de Champvallins, Paris. Signed and numbered "4/40" in pencil. TO SEE M...

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Maurice Taquoy - Les Corbeaux - The Ravens - village and empty field - color aquatint soft-ground etching Sold
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The Ravens

TAQUOY, Maurice

Les Corbeaux (original French title) Aquatint and soft-ground etching printed in color on thick wove paper.State proof, before the edition of 100.B...

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The Beautiful Impression Sold
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The Beautiful Impression

ROBBE, Manuel

La Belle Epreuve (original French title) Printed on wove paper.Reference: Merill-Chase.Edition of 100.

Birds of Prey Sold
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Birds of Prey

PROUVE, Victor

Oiseaux de Proie (original French title) Etching and aquatint printed in olive-green on Arches laid paper.Reference: Stein & Karshan 55.Edition...

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Seated Man or Sailor Smoking Sold
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Seated Man or Sailor Smoking


Color aquatint & etching printed on Arches laid paper.Reference: Cate & Grivel 143 (ill. page 115).Edition of 50.