GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM INTAGLIO
IntaglioBack to all Techniques
Intaglio comes from the Italian word intagliare, meaning "to incise." The intaglio techniques—including etching, engraving, drypoint, and aquatint—all involve incising fine lines into a metal plate. When ink is forced into the lines, and a sheet of paper placed on top and run through a press, the ink is transferred from the metal plate to the paper. While engraving and drypoint involve incising the lines directly into the printing plate using sharp, needle-like tools, etching involves the use of acid to etch (or "bite") an image into the plate. Since the Renaissance, artists from Rembrandt van Rijn to Pablo Picasso have used intaglio techniques to create some of their most important works. The Expressionists exploited its potential for fine, scratchy lines to create images that range from nervous and sensitive to frenzied and dramatic.