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Great variety of printmaking styles
Drypoint, directly drawing an image with a sharp needle on a matrix, lends itself to expressive mark making of quickly rendered, sometimes sketchy, often emotive images that produce silky black lines. Typically drypoints are drawn on copper or zinc plates and usually a drypoint edition consists of a smaller number of prints than an etching, engraving, or lithographic edition. With each pass through the press the drypoint lines and burrs (the metal moved to the side by the pressure of the needle) compress and the image tends to lighten.
The technique of drypoint was probably first executed by the Master of the Housebook in the late 15th century. These rare prints capture the spontaneity and looseness that characterizes drypoint, a process closely related to direct drawing. Very few printmakers from the 15th through early 19th centuries worked exclusively in drypoint; more commonly the medium was used to add…
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