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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.

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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The Wave Sold
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The Wave

JOURDAIN, Francis

La Vague or La Mer (original French titles) Etching and aquatint printed on laid paper.Reference: Cate & Grivel 104 (ill. pg. 122).Edition of 3...

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