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(mĕt`sətĭnt, mĕd`zə–, mĕz`ə–) [Ital.,=halftint], method of copper or steel engraving in tone. A Dutch officer, Ludwig von Siegen, is given credit for the invention of mezzotint c.1640. The process then came into prominence in England early in the 18th cent. Mezzotint involves uniform burring with a curved, sawtoothed tool by cradling it back and forth until the surface of the plate presents an all-over, even grain. This yields a soft effect in the print. The picture is developed in chiaroscuro with a scraper and a burnisher, every degree of light and shade from black to white being attainable. In pure mezzotint, no line drawing is employed, the result being soft without the sharp lines of an etching. Mezzotint was often used for the reproduction of paintings, particularly, in England, for landscapes and portraits. The process is essentially extinct today.



a method of engraving on metal related to intaglio. In preparing the copper plate for mezzotint engraving, a burr is raised on its polished surface either mechanically or chemically. Such a rough plate will print an even black. The design is made on the plate (sometimes painted) with a needle or pencil; the areas intended to be light are smoothed or scraped, creating soft gradations from dark to light. Mezzotint engravings are distinguished by deep and velvety tonal qualities and the richness and subtlety of chiaroscuro effects. The mezzotint process is also used for color prints.

Mezzotint was invented by the German master L. Von Siegan in the mid-17th century. It was popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries, particularly in England (J. R. Smith, V. Green, R. Earlom, J. Ward, and J. Walker). It was also widely used in France (J. C. Le Blon), Russia (I. Shtenglin, I. A. Selivanov), and other countries. Mezzotint was used primarily for the reproduction of paintings.



(graphic arts)
An engraving process in which a copper or steel plate is first entirely roughened by rubbing Carborundum between it and another plate and by using a steel chisel with an edge set with minute teeth which rock into the plate at various angles; the rough-grain plate is burnished with a steel instrument to produce appropriate white areas of the design.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hamanishi, now in his mid-60s, ranks among the most skilled artists of mezzotint, which is considered perhaps the most difficult method of creating art prints.
As Anne Hollander has commented, the images of the "Little Liber" manage to combine delicacy of tone and black brooding drama in a way that the medium of mezzotint supports.
exhibitions have been followed with Schkolnyk mezzotints being added to collections of the Cleveland Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Portland Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Bilbiotheque Nationale in Paris.
New in Masterworks: The Thomas Frye Mezzotints: Mezzotint engraving was popular in eighteenth-century England because it was well suited for the reproduction of paintings.
Among Huneker's collections of critical and biographical pieces are Mezzotints in Modern Music (1899), Chopin (1900), Overtones (1904), Iconoclasts (1905), Egoists (1909), Promenades of an Impressionist (1910), Franz Liszt (1911), Old Fogy: His Musical Opinions and Grotesques (1913), The Pathos of Distance (1913), New Cosmopolis (1915), Ivory, Apes, and Peacocks (1915), Unicorns (1917), Bedouins (1920), and Variations (1921).
The death of his wife in 1828, work on the mezzotints he published as English Landscape Scenery and recurrent ill-health dissipated and depleted his energy.
At first many think these prints give the impression of aquatints with their wonderful tonal variations and rendering of transparent effects like watercolor, or mezzotints with their almost photographic-like modeling of facial features.
of New York introduces 12 new mezzotints with two in color by Mikio Watanabe.
Some people swear by copper engravings, others prefer mezzotints for their softness and delicacy and lithographs are associated in most people's minds with the 19th century and Toulouse-Lautrec, who used this method of print making to produce some of the finest posters ever made in the history of art.
He went on to paint fishermen in innumerable difficult conditions on the coast at all times of the day or night, shipwrecks, battles--the Nile and Trafalgar--and every type and circumstance of the meeting of sea and land, in oil and watercolour, engravings and mezzotints.