FACTOID # 8: Bookworms: Vermont has the highest number of high school teachers per capita and third highest number of librarians per capita.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Line engraving
A line engraving of the ship Putnam of the US Navy, from the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
Enlarge
A line engraving of the ship Putnam of the US Navy, from the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
This article currently covers the history of line engraving until ca. 1910. Please extend it as needed, and remove this notice afterwards.

Engraving for the purpose of printmaking can be done to create either intaglio or relief prints. Intaglio engravings are made by carving into a plate of a hard substance such as copper, zinc, steel, or plastic, rubbing ink into the carved areas and away from the flat surface, placing moistened paper over the plate and running both through the rollers of an intaglio press. The pressure exerted by the press on the paper pushes it into the engraved lines, and prints the image made by those lines. In an intaglio print, the engraved lines print black.


Relief engravings are most commonly made by carving into fine grained hardwood blocks. Ink is rolled onto the surface of the block, dry paper is placed on top of the block, and it is printed either by rolling both through a press, or by hand, using a baren to rub the ink from the surface of the block onto the paper. In a relief print, the engraved lines show white.

Contents

Early history

The art of line engraving has been practiced from the earliest ages. The prehistoric Aztec hatchet given to Humboldt in Mexico was just as truly engraved as a modern copper-plate which may convey a design by Flaxman; the Aztec engraving is ruder than the European, but it is the same art. The Aztecs were a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people of central Mexico in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. ... // Humboldt can refer to: Alexander von Humboldt, a German natural scientist Wilhelm von Humboldt (his brother), a linguist, philosopher, and diplomat Or any of the many things named for them: Named for Alexander von Humboldt Places in California, U.S. Humboldt Bay in California Humboldt County, California Humboldt Hill Humboldt...


Niellos

The important discovery which made line engraving one of the multiplying arts was the accidental discovery of how to print an incised line. This method was in fact known for some time before its real utility was suspected. The goldsmiths of Florence in the middle of the 15th century ornamented their works by means of engraving, after which they filled up the hollows produced by the burin with a black enamel made of silver, lead and sulphur. The resulting design, called a niello, was much higher contrast and thus much more visible. Cutting is the separation of a physical object, or a portion of a physical object, into two portions, through the application of an acutely directed force. ... A goldsmith creating a new ring A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with precious metals, usually to make jewelry. ... Florences skyline Florence (Italian: ) is the capital city of the region of Tuscany, Italy. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... In lithic reduction, a burin is a special type of lithic flake with a chisel-like edge which prehistoric humans may have used for engraving or for carving wood or bone. ... The word enamel can mean more than one thing: Tooth enamel Vitreous enamel Enamel (markup language) Enameled wire This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ... General Name, Symbol, Number lead, Pb, 82 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 14, 6, p Appearance bluish white Atomic mass 207. ... For the chemical element see: sulfur. ... „Minden Cross“ in Niello technique, appr. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


As this enamel was difficult to remove, goldsmiths developed alternate means of viewing their work while still in progress. They would take a sulphur cast of the work on a matrix of fine clay, and fill up the lines in the sulphur with lampblack, producing the desired high-contrast image. The Gay Head cliffs in Marthas Vineyard are made almost entirely of clay. ... Soot, also called lampblack or carbon black, is a dark powdery deposit of unburned fuel residues, usually composed mainly of amorphous carbon, that accumulates in chimneys, automobile mufflers and other surfaces exposed to smoke—especially from the combustion of carbon-rich organic fuels in the lack of sufficient oxygen. ...


Beginnings of printing

Enlarge
An early engraving by Jost Amman.

It was discovered later that a proof could be taken on damped paper by filling the engraved lines with ink and wiping it off the surface of the plate. Pressure was then applied to push the paper into the hollowed lines and fetch the ink out of them. This was the beginning of plate printing. An artists proof is, at least in theory, an impression of a print taken in the printmaking process to see the current printing state of a plate while the plate (or stone, or woodblock. ... Piece of A4 paper Paper is a thin material produced by the amalgamation of plant fibres, which are subsequently held together without extra binder, largely by hydrogen bonds and to a large degree by fiber entanglement. ... An ink is a liquid containing various pigments and/or dyes used for colouring a surface to render an image or text. ...


This a convenient way of proofing a niello, and saved the effort of producing a cast, but further implications went unexplored. Goldsmiths continued to engrave nielli to ornament plates and furniture; it was not until the 16th century that the new method of printing was implemented. Plate has several meanings: A plate electrode in a vacuum tube. ... A Shaker rocker, or rocking chair. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ...


Early style

In early Italian and German prints, the line is used with such perfect simplicity of purpose that the methods of the artists are as obvious as if we saw them actually at work. In all these figures the outline is the primary focus, followed by the lines which mark the leading folds of the drapery. These are always really engravers' lines, such as may naturally be done with the burin, and they never imitate the freer line of the pencil or etching needle. An outline is a prose telling of a story intended to be turned into a screenplay. ... Drapery refers to cloth or textiles (Latin drappus = cloth and Old French drap) or the trade of selling cloth. ...


Shading is used in the greatest moderation with thin straight strokes that never overpower the stronger organic lines of the design. In the early metal engraving the shading lines are often cross-hatched, whereas in the earliest woodcuts they are not; the reason being that when lines are incised they can as easily be crossed as not, whereas when they are reserved, the crossing involves much non-artistic labor. Shade is the blocking of sunlight (in particular direct sunshine) by any object, and also the shadow created by that object. ... Albrecht Dürer, Veronica, 1513. ...


Italy

Detail of an engraving by Marcantonio.
Enlarge
Detail of an engraving by Marcantonio.

The early style of engravers differs greatly from that of a modern chiaroscurist. Mantegna, for example, did not draw and shade at the same time, but he first got his outlines and the patterns on his dresses all very accurate, and then added a veil of shading, with all the lines being straight and all the shading diagonal. This is the primitive method, its peculiarities being due to a combination of natural genius with technical inexperience. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tenebrism. ... The Lamentation over the Dead Christ (c. ...


Marcantonio, the engraver of Raphael, trained himself by copying German woodcuts into line engravings. Marcantonio was an engraver of remarkable power, and through him the real pure art of line-engraving reached its maturity. He retained much of the simplistic early Italian manner in his backgrounds, but his figures are boldly modelled in curved lines, crossing each other in the darker shades, but left single in the passages from dark to light, and breaking away in fine dots as they approach the light itself, which is of pure white paper. A new Italian school of engraving was born, which aside minute details for a broad, harmonious treatment. Raphael or Raffaello (April 6, 1483 – April 6, 1520), born in Urbino, Italy, was a master painter and architect of the Florentine school in the Italian High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings. ...


Germany

The characteristics of early metal engraving in Germany are demonstrated in the works of Martin Schongauer (d. 1488) and Albert Durer (d. 1528). Schongauer used outline and shade as a unified element, and the shading, generally in curved lines, is far more masterly than the straight shading of Mantegna. Durer continued Schongauer's curved shading, with increasing manual delicacy and skill, and over-loaded his plates with quantities of living and inanimate objects; he applied the same intensity of study to everything. c. ... // Events February 3 - Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, at the tip of Africa becoming the first known European to travel this far south. ... Events June 19 - Battle of Landriano - A French army in Italy under Marshal St. ...


Peter Paul Reubens and the engravers he employed made marked technical developments in the field of engraving: he provided his engravers with drawings to guide them instead of his finished paintings, allowing them to discard the Italian outline and in its place substitute modeling. They definitively substituted broad masses for the minutely finished detail of northern schools, and they adopted a system of dark and light characteristic of engraving, which it rendered (according to Reubens[citation needed]) more harmonious. Pieter Pauwel (Peter Paul) Rubens (June 28, 1577 - May 30, 1640) was a Flemish baroque painter. ... A physical model is used in various contexts to mean a physical representation of some thing. ...


A flourishing art form: 17th and 18th centuries

In the 17th and 18th centuries, line engraving made no new development and instead flourished around the established techniques and principles. English and French artists began to use the technique, with England learning primarily from the Germans (led by Rubens) and France from the Italians (Raphael), though there was a good deal of cross-influence between all involved traditions. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Sir Robert Strange, as many other English engravers, made it his study to soften and lose the outline, specifically in figure-engraving. Meanwhile, Gerard Audran (d. 1703) led the Renaissance school in perfecting the art of modeling with the burin. Events February 2 - Earthquake in Aquila, Italy February 4 - In Japan, the 47 samurai commit seppuku (ritual suicide) February 14 - Earthquake in Norcia, Italy April 21 - Company of Quenching of Fire (ie. ... Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ...


A technological foe: the 19th century

In the 19th century, line engraving was both helped and hindered. The help came from the growth of public wealth, the increasing interest in art and the increase in the commerce of art, as exemplified by the career of such art dealers as Ernest Gambart, and the growing demand for illustrated books. The hindrance to line engraving came from the desire for cheaper and more rapid methods – a desire satisfied in various ways, but especially by etching and by various kinds of photography. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Commerce is the trading of something of economic value such as goods, services, information or money between two or more entities. ... Ernest Gambart (1814-1902) Ernest Gambart (October 12, 1814; died Nice, France April 12, 1902) was a Belgian-born English art publisher and dealer who dominated the London art world in the middle of the nineteenth century. ... Drawing is one way of making an image: it is the process of making marks on a surface by applying pressure from or moving a tool on the surface. ... Etching is an intaglio method of printmaking in which the image is incised into the surface of a metal plate using an acid. ... Photography is the process of making pictures by means of the action of light. ...

An engraved portrait of Daniel Webster by Duyckinick, 1873.
Enlarge
An engraved portrait of Daniel Webster by Duyckinick, 1873.

The record of the art of line engraving during the last quarter of the 19th century is one of continued decay. Technical improvements, it was hoped, might save the art, but by the beginning of the 20th century pictorial line engraving in England was practically non-existent. The disappearance of the art is due to the fact that that the public refuses to wait for several years for proofs (some important proofs took as long as 12 years to create) when they can obtain their plates more quickly by another method. The invention of steel-facing S copper plate enabled the engraver to proceed more quickly; but even in this case he can no more compete with the etcher than the mezzotint engraver can keep pace with the photogravure manufacturer. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Mezzotint is a printing process of the intaglio family, in which the surface of a metal plate is roughened evenly; the image is then brought out by smoothing the surface, creating the image by working from dark to light. ... Photogravure is a type of intaglio printing process used for reproducing monochromatic (black and white) images. ...


If line-engraving still flourishes in France, it is due not a little to official encouragement and to intelligent fostering by collectors and connoisseurs. However, the class of the work has entirely changed, partly through the reduction of prices paid for it, partly through the change of taste and fashion, and partly, again, through the necessities of the situation. French engravers were therefore driven to simplify their work to satisfy the public's impatience. To compensate for loss of colour, the art developed in the direction of elegance and refinement. A connoisseur (Fr. ...


In Italy, line engraving decayed just as it had in England, and outside Europe, line engraving can no longer be said to exist. Here and there a spasmodic attempt may be made to appeal to the artistic appreciation of a limited public, but generally, no attention is paid to these efforts. There are still a few who can engrave a head from a photograph or drawing, or a small engraving for book illustration or for book plates; there are more who are highly proficient in mechanical engraving for decorative purposes, but the engraving-machine is fast superseding this class. European redirects here. ...


Style

Nineteenth century line engraving, compared with previous work, had a more thorough and delicate rendering of local color, light and shade, and texture. Older engravers could draw just as correctly, but they either neglected these elements or admitted them sparingly, as opposed to the spirit of their art, but there is a certain sameness in pure line engraving more favorable to some forms and textures than to others. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Prism splitting light Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength [citation needed]. The elementary particle that defines light is the photon. ... Shade is the blocking of sunlight (in particular direct sunshine) by any object, and also the shadow created by that object. ... ...


In the well-known prints from Rosa Bonheur, for example, the tone of the skies is achieved by machine-ruling, as is much undertone in the landscape. The fur of the animals is all etched, as are the foreground plants; the real burin work is used sparingly where most favorable to texture. Even in the exquisite engravings after J. M. W. Turner, which reached a degree of delicacy in light and shade far surpassing the work of the old masters, the engravers had recourse to etching, finishing with the burin and dry point. Turner, considered as important an influence on engraving as Raphael and Reubens, contributed much to the field in the direction of delicacy of tone. The Horse Fair, 1853-1855 Rosa Bonheur Marie-Rosalie Bonheur, usually called Rosa Bonheur (March 16, 1822-May 25, 1899) was a French realist painter. ... Self portrait, oil on canvas, circa 1799 Joseph Mallord William Turner (born in Covent Garden, London on April 23, 1775 (exact date disputed), died December 19, 1851) was an English Romantic landscape artist, whose style can be said to have laid the foundation for Impressionism. ...


The new French school of engraving had several distinctive characteristics, including the substitution of exquisite greys for the rich blacks of old, and simplicity of method coupled with extremely high elaboration. Their object is, as always, to secure the faithful transcript of the painter they reproduce while readily sacrificing the power of the old method, which, whatever its force and beauty, was easily acquired by mediocre artists of technical ability. The Belgian school of engraving elaborated an effective "mixed method" of graver-work and dry-point. The Stauffer-Bern method of using many fine lines to create tone had a certain advantage in modelling.


Tools of the trade

The most important of the tools used in line-engraving is the burin, or graver, a bar of steel with one end fixed in a handle somewhat like a mushroom with one side cut away. The burin is shaped so that the sharpened cutting end takes the form of a lozenge, point downwards. The burin acts exactly like a plough: it makes a furrow and turns out a shaving of metal in the same way a plough turns the soil of a field. The burin, unlike a plough, is pushed through the material. This particular characteristic at once establishes a wide separation between it and all the other instruments employed in the arts of design, such as pencils, brushes, pens and etching needles. In lithic reduction, a burin is a special type of lithic flake with a chisel-like edge which prehistoric humans may have used for engraving or for carving wood or bone. ... The relative sizes of the Cap (pileus) and Stalk (stipe) vary widely. ... A pullover with a lozenge pattern A lozenge is a parallelogram which usually has two corners pointing up and down that are farther apart than the corners pointing sideways. ... It has been suggested that Mouldboard Plough be merged into this article or section. ... fur·row Pronunciation: f&r-()O, f&-()rO Function: noun Etymology: Middle English furgh, forow, from Old English furh; akin to Old High German furuh furrow, Latin porca 1 a : a trench in the earth made by a plow b : plowed land : FIELD 2 : something that resembles the track of... A selection of colored pencils. ... Different styles of paintbrushes The term brush refers to a variety of devices mainly with bristles, wire or other filament of any possible material used mainly for cleaning, grooming hair, painting, deburring and other kinds of surface finishing, but also for many other purposes like (but not limited to) seals... A ballpoint pen A pen is a writing instrument which applies ink to a surface. ... Etching is an intaglio method of printmaking in which the image is incised into the surface of a metal plate using an acid. ...


Example of burin engraving

The elements of engraving with the burin are evident in the engraving of letters, specifically the capital letter B. This letter consists of two perpendicular straight lines and four distinct curves. The engraver scratches these lines, reversed, very lightly with a sharp point or stylus. Next, the engraver cuts out the blacks (not the whites, as in wood engraving) with two different burins. First, the vertical black line is ploughed with the burin between the two scratched lines, then similarly some material is removed from the thickest parts of the two curves. Finally, the gradations from the thick middle of the curve to the thin points touching the vertical are worked out with a finer burin. The letter B is the second letter of the modern Latin alphabet. ... Modern stylus, used for touch-screen enabled devices such as the Nintendo DS and personal digital assistants Styli used in writing in the Fourteenth Century. ... An object is in a vertical position when it is aligned in an up-down direction, perpendicular to the horizon. ...


The hollows are then filled with printing ink, the surplus ink is wiped from the smooth surface of the metal, damped paper is laid upon it and driven into the hollowed letter by the pressure of a revolving cylinder. The paper fetches the ink out, and the letter B is printed in intense black. An ink is a liquid containing various pigments and/or dyes used for colouring a surface to render an image or text. ...


When the surface of a metal plate is sufficiently polished to be used for engraving, the slightest scratch upon it will print as a black line. An engraved plate from which visiting cards are printed is a good example of some elementary principles of engraving. It contains thin lines and thick ones, and a considerable variety of curves. An elaborate line engraving, if it is a pure line engraving and nothing else, willcontain only these simple elements in different combinations. The real line engraver is always engraving a line more or less broad and deep in one direction or another; he has no other business than this.


See also

Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. ... Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. ... The term Old Master Print is used to describe works of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition (European or New World). ... Steel engraving, an engraving technique, based on steel instead of copper or wood. ...

External links

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m