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Rembrandt art of etching
History of Rembrandt's Copper Plates
About the Millennium Impressions
The market for Rembrandt etchings
Millennium Impression images
Biography of Rembrandt Van Rijn

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Park West Gallery
29469 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield MI 48034

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The Art of Etching | Rembrandt's Influence | Subjects |
States of the Plates | Demonstration

The Art of Etching

While the use of acid to etch metal was first developed in Arabia in the Middle Ages—as a technique to add decoration to weapons—it would not be employed for printing on paper until the late 15th century.

Widely popularized in southern Germany, etching soon competed with engraving as a printmaking medium. Unlike engraving, it required little knowledge of metalworking and could be practiced by artists trained only in drawing. What’s more, etching provided more artistic freedom in creating lines, as if they were drawn with a pen, as opposed to engraving, which favored straight lines.

Even so, early line etchings showed little depth or expression since they were drawn with a single point at a uniform depth in flat iron plates. As the use of acids or mordants (from Latin, mordere, to bite) became more predictable, artists began to “bite” lines for different amounts of time to create gradation. And with the introduction of copper as an etching medium, the practice of scraping and burnishing the softer metal provided even more freedom of expression.

The Etching Process

Rembrandt's Mastery and Influence
Subjects of Rembrandt Etchings
States of the Copper Plates
Etching Demonstration

For more information on the Park West Rembrandt collection: (800)-521-9654 xt. 4 or (248) 354-2343.