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WPA Collection: Graphic Arts Processes

 

Line Engraving - An Intaglio Process


    Lady With Dog by LeRoy William Flint
         Line Engraving, 7 1/8" x 4 1/2"


Line engraving is older than etching, having been used by armourers and jewelers before the fifteenth century. It reached its height as a print process in the days of the artists, Durer and Schongauer. In this process the metal is cut away with a "burin" instead of using acid to eat out a line as in etching, or a burr raised by a metal point as in a drypoint. It is much easier to make a straight line with the engraving tool than a curved one. There characteristics give the engraving a stiff angular quality. The lines have a clear regular perfection about them. Sometimes the print is made by using dots of various sizes and depths instead of using lines. This is called "stipple." Modern print makers have brought out most effectively the stiff angular beauty of this process. The great modern French engraver, Laboreur, and the Czech Bouda, have done this especially well.

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