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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 Estacade 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

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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The Witch Sold
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The Witch

RIVIERE, Henri

La Sorcière (original French title) Etching, aquatint & drypoint printed in bluish-black ink on thin japon paper.References: Sueur-Hermel #5 (i...

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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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