Antique Mezzotint Print – Boy in Pink –

Product #P012

¬†This mezzotint is signed by artist ‘E. Wardee.’ The mezzotint measures 21 x 26″. It is also marked on the bottom ‘London Published December 1924 by Arthur Greatorex Ltd. H. Grafton, St. Lt.’ It has great detail and nice coloring. The frame is in good condition, there is some crazing in the frame is all. This is a nice piece.

For you who are not familiar with Mezzotints let me tell you about this process and then you will appreciate the way this print was engraved. Mezzotint is a form of engraving made by preparing a sheet of copper with a rough surface so that it will hold ink by means of a ‘rocker’. This is a tool much like a chisel with a round instead of a square-cut end. The cutting edge is serrated like a saw with as many as 35 to 120 ‘teeth’ per l inch. By rocking this instrument over the whole surface, the plate is sufficiently roughened to hold ink. The rougher the plate, the more ink it holds. The smoother the plate, the less ink it will hold. The parts of the plate that hold the most ink will print darkest. Those that hold less ink will print lighter. What the engraver does is make the different parts of the plate smoother in varying degrees. This is done by means of a ‘scraper’…a sharp, hard knife with which he removes the top of the minute grain. Relying upon his judgment and experience, he engraves the entire picture in reverse..as though it were seen in a mirror. When the plate is finished it shows the picture, instead of in varying tones of black and white, in varying degrees of smooth or rough copper. Mezzotinting requires a skilled craftsman with much time, patience and experience. It is inked by rubbing thick ink into the plate and wiping the plate with a piece of gauze so that the ink only remains in the minute pits all over the surface. The plate is slightly warmed and put face upwards on the plank of the press. The paper is laid on top and run through the press between backing papers and blankets. If the mezzotint is to be printed in color, (which this print was) after inking the plate all over with the black or sepia to give the light and shade, each part of the plate is colored with its local color. The color is applied with a rag to each different colored part. This is a great piece.


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