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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.

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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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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Bernard Boutet de Monvel - Les Anes - state proof - donkey canal town dusk - color aquatint and soft-ground etching Sold
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The Donkeys

BOUTET DE MONVEL, Bernard

Les Anes (original French title) Color aquatint and soft-ground etching printed on thick wove paper.References: not in Addade, nor in BN-IFF.State ...

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Bernard Boutet de Monvel - L'Heure du Repos - canal town - BN-IFF 5 - Color etching and aquatint Sold
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L'Heure du Repos

BOUTET DE MONVEL, Bernard

Color etching and aquatint. Refs: DC 366; BN-IFF 5. Monogrammed in the plate. Signed in the lower right platemark in pencil. Annotated "L'heure du ...

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Bernard Boutet de Monvel - La Charrette - horse drawn carriage - etching aquatint Sold
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La Charrette

BOUTET DE MONVEL, Bernard

Color etching and aquatint. Signed and numbered "48/100" in pencil.

Bernard Boutet de Monvel - Le Chaland - canal barge - Addade 46 - Aquatint and soft-ground etching Sold
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The Barge

BOUTET DE MONVEL, Bernard

La Chaland (original French title) Aquatint and soft-ground etching. Also titled "La Peniche". Printed in color on laid paper. Refs: Addade pg. 4...

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Charles Houdard - Charles Louis Marcel Houdard - Les Grenouilles - Frogs - dedicated to Henri Guerard - detail Sold
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Frogs

HOUDARD, Charles

Grenouilles (original French title) Color aquatint on chine paper, 1894.References: Stein and Karshan 36; Boyer and Cate 36.Artist’s proof aside fr...

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Yannick Ballif - Enez Bihan - Petite Ile - Small Island - Archipel Ebiens Hebiens - Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer - Bretagne - Cotes-d'Armor
$400

Enez Bihan

BALLIF, Yannick

Color aquatint, spitbite (?) and drypoint on wove paper.Printed to the sheet edge, as usual.Edition of 70.Published by Galerie Antarès, Paris, with...

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吉田正夫 - Masao Yoshida - Abstraction in Blue - title unknown - Paris - Atelier 17 - 1963 - color aquatint - detail
$600

Abstraction in Blue

YOSHIDA, Masao

Color aquatint and soft-ground etching on Arches wove paper.This is likely printed using the Atelier 17 method of simultaneous color printing (a.k....

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David Smith-Harrison - Royal Palm with Turkish Design - etching
$900

Royal Palm with Turkish Design

SMITH-HARRISON, David

Etching and aquatint printed in color on wove paper.Edition of 135.Signed, titled and numbered in pencil.

Kathleen Spagnolo - Cinema - color intaglio - color viscosity - detail
$600

Cinema

SPAGNOLO, Kathleen M

Color aquatint and etching on Arches wove paper.Artists proof.  Edition unknown, but likely small, if any was printed at all.  We have never seen a...

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George Jo Mess - Summer Nocturne - color intaglio
$300

Summer Nocturne

MESS, George Jo

Etching and aquatint printed in blue ink on simili-Japan paper.Edition unknown, but very likely small. This composition seems scarce. Signed and ti...

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Terry Haass - Variations 2 - 1970 - Spielmann 282.2 - pink and blue split circle geometric
$175

Variations 2

HAASS, Terry

Cut-out color aquatint and etching on BFK Rives wove paper. Reference: Spielmann 282.2. Edition of 100. Signed, titled, and numbered in pencil.

Terry Haass - Kaleidoscope 5 - 1972 - 284.5 - aquatint and etching cutout triangle yellow green blue
$175

Kaleidoscope 5

HAASS, Terry

Cut-out color aquatint and etching on BFK Rives wove paper.Reference: Spielmann 284.5.Edition of 100.Signed, titled, and numbered in pencil.