Art for the Asking: 60 Years of the Graphic Arts Loan Collection

What is intaglio?

In intaglio printing, the artist incises an image into a metal plate—such as copper, zinc, or steel—with either a sharp instrument or a strong acid solution. The plate must be thoroughly inked so that the ink penetrates and fills all the depressions. It is then carefully wiped clean, first with a cloth and then with the hand, so that ink only remains in the lines. A sheet of soft, dampened paper is pressed onto the plate with great pressure so that the paper is forced into the grooves to drag out the ink. The basic intaglio processes include engraving, etching, drypoint, aquatint, and mezzotint.

Demauro, Donald
Manet, Edouard
Berthe Morisot