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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.

Shaded River Sold
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Shaded River

MEUNIER, Henri

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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Seated Man or Sailor Smoking Sold
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Seated Man or Sailor Smoking

McCLELLAN POTTER, Louis

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