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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.

Henry Ziegler - Night Flight - aquatint burnisher mezzotint effect - early aviation Sold
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Night Flight

ZIEGLER, Henry

Aquatint, burnisher and drypoint on wove paper, c. 1925.Artist’s proof, aside from an unknown edition; if one was actually printed, which is doubtf...

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Yannick Ballif - Papagaio - Parrot bright colored macaw - fly into window - real leaves - detail Sold
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Papagaio

BALLIF, Yannick

Papagaio (original Brazilian Portuguese title)Embossed color aquatint and drypoint on wove paper.Printed to the sheet edge, as usual.Trial proof; e...

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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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Yannick Ballif - Mato - Color intaglio - embossed - 1980 - detail Sold
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Mato

BALLIF, Yannick

Mato (original Brazilian Portuguese title) Embossed color aquatint and drypoint on wove paper.Printed to the sheet edge, as usual.One of ten artist...

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Emil Ganso - Model Standing - The Print Club of Cleveland - nude women from behind - hips Sold
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Model Standing

GANSO, Emil

Etching and aquatint on wove paper, 1935.Reference: Smith I-8c.Edition of 250, as issued by The Print Club of Cleveland.Signed in pencil. 

Kaiko Moti - Aiglon - Eaglet - eagle chick - aigle - color viscosity - atelier 17 - simultaneous color printing - detail
$475

The Eaglet

MOTI, Kaiko

L’Aiglon (original French title) Simultaneous color printing aquatint on Arches wove paper, n.d.Edition of 120.Signed and numbered in pencil.

Allan Osterlind - Le Bapteme a Treboul - Baptism - Brittany Bretagne - tradition - color aquatint - detail
$750

The Baptism in Treboul

OSTERLIND, Allan

Le Baptême à Tréboul (original French title)  Color aquatint and etching on Arches wove paper.Edition unknown, but like most of the artist’s work s...

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Barbara Neustadt - Odysseus Perils - Aquatint soft ground etching abstract green - detail Sold
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Odysseus' Perils

NEUSTADT, Barbara

Aquatint and soft-ground etching printed in simultaneous color printing (color viscosity) on Arches wove paper.Proof impression, aside from the edi...

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David Smith-Harrison - Plum Tree III - etching and aquatint - architecture
$500

Plum Tree III

SMITH-HARRISON, David

Etching and aquatint printed in color on wove paper.Edition of 200.Signed, titled and numbered in pencil.

David Smith-Harrison - Cherry Tree - etching
$600

Cherry Tree

SMITH-HARRISON, David

Etching and aquatint printed in color on wove paper,.Edition of 200.Signed, titled and numbered in pencil.

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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Louis Legrand - La Petite Classe - La Gosse - intaglio - young ballerina entering a room
$900

La Gosse

LEGRAND, Louis

Aquatint and drypoint on simili-Japan paper. Refs: Exsteens 248; Arwas 359.  Edition of 100. From the album, “Le Petite Classe”.  Numbered “25/100...

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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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George Jo Mess - Handy Pump - intaglio
$225

Handy Pump

MESS, George Jo

Color etching and aquatint on simili-Japan paper. Edition unknown, but likely small. Signed and titled in pencil. 

Terry Haass - Variations 1 - 1970 - Spielmann 282.1 - green geometric circle, aquatint etching
$175

Variations 1

HAASS, Terry

Cut-out color aquatint and etching on BFK Rives wove paper, 1970. Reference: Spielmann 282.1. Edition of 100. Signed, titled, and numbered in pencil.

Terry Haass - Kaleidoscope 4 - 1972 - 284.4 - etching aquatint red purple triangles geometric
$175

Kaleidoscope 4

HAASS, Terry

Cut-out color aquatint and etching on BFK Rives wove paper.Reference: Spielmann 284.4.Edition of 100.Signed, titled, and numbered in pencil.

Yannick Ballif - Quatre Iles - Four Islands - orange teal vegetation - leaves
$500

Four Islands

BALLIF, Yannick

Quatre Iles (original French title)Embossed color aquatint and linear scuffing on wove paper.Printed to the sheet edge, as usual.Trial proof, aside...

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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.