24.02.2015 – 31.05.2015

Main Building

Aquatint

08.12.2015 – 31.01.2016

Main Building

Aquatint (< Lat. aqua 'water' and tinto 'color, hue') is a printmaking technique in which a metal plate is corroded with acid, just as in etching. Most often, aquatint is employed together with etching, which is used to trace the contours of the image. In aquatint, the surface of the metal plate is covered with powdered rosin or asphalt (or, more rarely, sugar) that melts and adheres to the plate after being heated. The plate is then exposed to acid, which corrodes the metal surface between the powder grains. The depth of corrosion depends on how long the acid is in contact with the metal. Areas of greater corrosion produce denser and more intensely colored spots on the print. A lot also depends on the size of the powder grains and their density on the plate: the closer and the smaller they are, the lighter and the softer the color tone is on the print. Aquatints can be made in black & white or color. This painstaking technique can create the effect of watercolor (which explains the technique's name) or an ink-and-wash drawing. One can apply successive acid baths to create a huge variety of tints of each color.

Aquatint appeared in France in the 1760s. Its inventor is traditionally considered to be Jean-Baptiste Le Prince (1734-1781), who was the first to get a patent for the invention. Aquatint became popular in France as well as in many other countries in the 18th-20th centuries and continues to be used today. In particular, the well-known English painter Damien Hirst (born 1965) works with aquatint.

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