Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design inintaglio in the metal (the original process—in modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used on other types of material). As an intaglio method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Artists using this technique include Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Francisco Goya, Whistler,Otto Dix, James Ensor, Edward Hopper, Käthe Kollwitz, Pablo Picasso, Cy Twombly, Lucas van Leyden, Carlos Alvarado Lang.
"Woman with Dead Child" by Kathe Kollwitz, etching, 1903 National Gallery of Art,D.C.
Manet Seated, Turned to the Left, ca. 1866–68
Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917)
Etching, first state (one of four known impressions)
During the 1860s, when Degas was very active as a portraitist, he made his friend Manet the subject of a group of drawings and prints, several of which are in the Museum's collection. This etched portrait evolved from a black-chalk drawing in our collection that shows Manet seated casually on a wooden chair. With his overcoat flung open and his hat clasped in his hand, he appears to have dropped by Degas's studio for a brief visit. The print is a rarity; only three impressions from the plate (printed before Degas's tinkering ruined it) had been documented before this crisp example unexpectedly turned up at an auction in Switzerland.