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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.

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.

Edgar Chahine - Les Maneges - Merry Go Round - Tabanelli 280 - aquatint etching drypoint
$2,200

The Merry-Go-Round

CHAHINE, Edgar

Les Manèges (original French title) Aquatint, etching and drypoint printed in bistre on laid paper.Reference: Tabanelli 280.Edition of 50.Signed in...

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Bernard Boutet de Monvel - La Patineuse - female fashion ice skater - color aquatint and soft-ground etching
$1,500

The Skater

BOUTET DE MONVEL, Bernard

La Patineuse (original French title) Color aquatint and soft-ground etching printed in color on thick wove paper. References: neither in the BN-IFF...

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Jacques Villon - Marcel Duchamp - Le Chef d'Oeuvre - Masterpiece - Mother holding daughter drawing - Belle Epoque Sold
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The Masterpiece

VILLON, Jacques

Le Chef d’Oeuvre (original French title) Drypoint, aquatint and roulette printed in four colors, à la poupée (yet from two registered plates) on wo...

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Bernard Boutet de Monvel - Les Marcheurs - men in suit bowler hat cane - dandy art - 19th century hipsters - detail
$1,700

The Walkers

BOUTET DE MONVEL, Bernard

Les Marcheurs (original French title) Color aquatint on thick wove paper.Ref: non in BN-IFF or in Addade.Stated to be an edition of 60, which is ex...

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