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An unusual subject for an individual so singularly associated with architecture, Andrea Palladio’s engraved illustrations for the commentaries of Julius Caesar began as a project for his two sons, who both died in 1572. The images depict Caesar’s descriptions of battle formations and army encampments.
Not only does Alexander Browne’s treatise and manual include engravings from “Thirty Copper Plates expressing the choicest, nearest and most exact Grounds and Rules of Symmetry,” it also includes a chapter on etching technique, with a brief discussion of mezzotint. Browne was one of mezzotint’s earliest practitioners.
This 1760 French edition of Jacopo Vignola’s 1562 architectural treatise on the five orders of architecture (Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Composite) contains engravings that reproduce the architect’s originals. The book was meant to be put to practical use by architects and their students.
London, Ackermann, 1800.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Small » NC1479.R8A1 W64
In his 1688 Conference on Expression (the text of which was published in England in 1701), Charles Le Brun demonstrated to fellow artists how emotions revealed themselves physically. A century later, it was the inspiration for George Moutard Woodward and Thomas Rowlandson’s series of hand-colored etchings, which lampoon the formality of the French artist’s teachings.
New York, Walker, in association with the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harvard College Library, 1971.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Medium » NE702.G7 L3 F
In 1799, Francisco Goya published his Caprichos, a series of prints that criticised the follies of contemporary Spanish society. The etchings (some with aquatint) shown here are, according to Eleanor Sayre, long-lost fragments of a second Caprichos series, begun twenty-five years after the first. They were printed in 1971 from the original copper plates.
David Cox’s drawing and color manual is printed in a combination of etching and aquatint. The etching is meant to imitate pencil sketches, while the aquatint replicates the effects of India ink wash, sepia, and (with the addition of hand-colored accents) watercolor.
London, H.G. Bohn, 1855.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Large » NE370.C6 L8 F
In overseeing the translation of his atmospheric paintings into mezzotints, John Constable was interested less in producing direct copies than in exploring the dramatic tonal effects that the medium facilitates. This 1855 volume, published after Constable’s death, includes twenty-one plates that David Steel had made under Constable’s direct supervision for an earlier edition.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Large » NE539 .C43 A74 1999 F
Chagoya’s set of eight etchings with aquatint recasts Goya’s Caprichos with contemporary characters such as Jesse Helms, Jerry Falwell, and Linda Tripp, demonstrating the relevance of Goya’s imagery even in the late twentieth century.
Octon [France] : Verdigris, 2003.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Medium » PS3537 .T4753 S78 2003
The nine mezzotints in this volume, along with the screenprints that decorate its covers, were printed by the artist Judith Rothchild of Verdigris Press. They expertly demonstrate the strong contrasts and rich gradations of tone that the mezzotint process can produce.
[Deluxe ed.] New York : Museum of Modern Art, c2005.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Small » NE539 .C4 S73 2005
The largest and most elaborate etching in this collaborative artists’ book is the cover itself: a four-plate image printed in blue inks. Inside, the second etching presents a negative image of the night sky; in the third print, white stars twinkle through thin, crisscrossing lines.
[Germany] : Edition Schwarze Seite, [2009]
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Large » N7433.4 .F756 I88 2009 FF
The five pull-out etchings that accompany Hölderlin’s Danube River hymn (c. 1803-5) present the river as an abstracted and monumental force. Eckhard Froeschlin published his handbound volume in an edition of eighteen.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Large » N7433.4 .I45 A74 2009 F
To create an etched image that appears seamless across the entire spread of this accordion-fold book, Claire Illouz chose to print multiple, differently sized plates on a soft support. The silk, much more flexible than typical paper, does not reveal the embossed plate marks that usually result from intaglio printing.
Hamburg : Hirundo Press, 2010.
Art & Architecture Library » Locked Stacks, Medium » N7433.4 .S247 E58 2010
Caroline Saltzwedel’s collagraphs, intaglio prints of aluminum foil laid onto a plate, conjure the winter of 2009-10 in Hamburg, Germany, when unusually low temperatures turned a city lake into an everchanging sheet of ice. Each of the books in the 10-copy edition includes an original plate (cancelled with the word “EIS”) inlaid in its cover.