Engraving and Etching 1400-2000: A History of the Development of Manual Intaglio Printmaking Processes

Ad Stijnman

UK Price: £120.00 US Price: $250.00

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ISBN: 9781904982715
Binding: Hardback
Dimensions: 297 x 210 mm
Pages: 672
Illustrations: 220 colour, 83 halftone

This book, published by Archetype Publications in association with HES & DE GRAAF Publishers, surveys the history of the techniques of engraving, etching and plate printing - ie that of manual intaglio printmaking processes - from its beginning in the 1430s until today. These developments are observed in the light of the coherence between the technique of the intaglio print (such as its materials and methods of production); the ‘style’ or outward appearance of the print; the creator of the print; and the fashion typical of a particular social group, place and time. Economic, educational and social aspects are discussed, as well as the dissemination of the trade of intaglio printmaking.

The author shows how intaglio printmaking developed steadily from the mid-fifteenth century, with the invention of the roller press and the etching of printing plates. By 1525 intaglio printmaking techniques could be said to have reached maturity and spread east and west following the European trade routes and colonisation. Further developments in plate-making resulted from a series of inventions and reinventions. After the abolition of the guilds on the European continent around 1800, and the introduction of photography and the expansion of the graphic industry, the engraving of images became a mere mechanical procedure. The handcrafted print made way for the large-scale mechanised graphic industry which emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century. Consequently artist-etchers withdrew to an elite position to concentrate on the manual aspects of printmaking, which is the situation today.

This comprehensively illustrated study is the first of its kind to cover all elements of the trade of engraving and etching throughout six centuries. Based on an exhaustive number of primary sources it will be an essential resource for collectors, curators, conservators, printmakers and students of technical art history.

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This book is the top recommendation of reference works by the British Museum's Prints and Drawings Department. Check out their reading list of books on the techniques of printmaking and drawing.

This study by Stijnman is an immensely scholarly and interpretative reference work. It is the most exhaustive account of the process and the people involved at the practical level in manual intaglio printing.
Imago Mundi - Vol 66 part 1 2014

How immensely refreshing to find a respected printmaking scholar and academic who is also a practicing printmaker. Ad Stijnman knows his stuff and understands the art of intaglio printmaking first hand. [...] The edition is beautifully illustrated throughout with examples of intaglio prints ranging through the six centuries studied. [...] It has been an impressive undertaking by Ad Stijnman, who has produced an edition so very dense in terms of information and yet so utterly engaging.
Printmaking Today - Vol. 23, Summer 2014

Ad Stijnman's richly illustrated and in-depth study of the history of the techniques of engraving and etching focuses on the development of the intaglio processes, while at the same time throwing light on things that had a direct influence on this development: for example, materials, style, fashion, commercial considerations, and technical innovation. Stijnman brings the reader into the printmaker's workshop and describes in detail the production of prints from start to finish. [...]
This work is not only an engaging descriptive study of intaglio processes over the last six hundred years but also a particularly useful reference work that can serve well as a starting point for future research.
Sixteenth Century Journal - Vol. XLV/2, 2014

Ademas de la introducción y tres extensos capítulos, en sus apéndices muestra una completa cronología del grabado en hueco desde 1435 hasta 2002, un extenso listado de términos e inscripciones y una bibliografía completa de manuales, desde Bosse a Hayter, y artículos científicos relativos. Muy recomendable.

It is an example of the kind of mind-boggling research that occasionally happens in the field of prints (one thinks of Bartsch or Hollstein)—research that transforms the field and opens new horizons for future scholars. Engraving and Etching will be indispensable in museum print study rooms, art libraries, for collectors and print dealers for many years to come.
Art in Print November – December 2013

Encyclopedic in vision, it moves well beyond the early modern period to cover more than six centuries of printmaking. Given the ambitiously broad chronological span and the close attention paid to technical issues, one might compare Stijnman’s book with the standard introductory textbooks by Bamber Gascoigne or Antony Griffiths – but Engraving and Etching 1400–2000 is paradoxically both more focused and more expansive than these other two exceptionally useful volumes.
Council for European Studies - December 2013

The wealth of fact, imagery and well-grounded suggestion in this book so excites the memory and imagination. Stijnman answers many questions and solves numerous puzzles, inviting the reader into his inquiry and providing the solid basis for further discussion, research and speculation - a model of true scholarship.
Print Quarterly - December 2013

"As a reference source for techniques and technologies 'Engraving and Etching 1400-2000' is superb and unlikely to be superseded"
The Library - December 2013

This is an exhaustive study of the history of intaglio printing. Its discursiveness leads to its great length but also to its value as a reference work. The proponents of both art and technique are well represented, both in text and illustration, much of the latter of good size and in colour. Mr Stijnman, and his publishers, have done a great service to both the art and craft of printing by making this study accessible.
The Society of Bookbinders Newsletter - August 2013

The author is uniquely qualified to write this book...As a result, his conclusions have an authority that immediately makes this a standard work, and it can confidently be recommended to any reader.
The Burlington Magazine, 177 - March 2013

The book is a one-stop shop for historians and collectors of prints. Stijnman's coverage of broader topics, like the professionalisation of the trade, the development of definitions of authenticity in printmaking, and the connections between fine art and book printing, is balanced by detailed studies of the developments of tools, grounds, acids, the roller press, inks, supports and colour printmaking.
Apollo - February 2013