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. Enjoy this collection of aquatints.
Aquatint, circa 1920
Harold L. DOOLITTLE