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aquatint

aquatint (äˈkwətĭntˌ) [key], etching technique. The plate is covered with a porous ground, or resist, through which acid bites many tiny pockmarks in the metal. If an area is to be completely white, that part of the plate is coated with varnish. The plate, when inked, becomes a printing template. The tones produced resemble those of a wash drawing. The technique is said to have been invented in the 1760s by J. B. Le Prince (1734–84). It is often used in combination with other types of etching. Goya's series of mixed aquatint etchings, Los Caprichos, Desastres de la Guerra, Tauromaquia, and Proverbios, is considered a supreme example of this technique.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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