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Aquatint

From Latin aqua (water) and Italian tinta (colouring agent). Graphical gravure printing technique invented by Jean-Baptiste Leprince around 1760. A thin acid-resistant layer of tarmac, resin or Colophonium powder is fused superficially on a copper plate. Then the plate is cauterised in acid. The tiny and densely distributed spaces between the powder particles result in fine recesses on the plate and later absorb the ink. Several cauterisations of different areas on the plate lead to various, clearly distinguishable colour nuances. Generally, the contours of a drawing as well as relevant parts of the drawing itself are applied on the copper plate as an etching by means of the Aquatint technique before cauterisation.

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