Tag Archives: aquatint

The Mediums of Mastro-Valerio

Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective opens this Friday, September 20th (come to our opening!) with over 25 original prints on the OPG walls. Although celebrated for his mezzotint nudes, Mastro-Valerio also experimented with etchings, wood engravings, and monotypes, before creating continuous and spit-bite aquatint abstractions in the final years before his death (1950-1952).  Today on the OPG blog, we would like to explain the different mediums that Mastro-Valerio so artfully employed, using his prints to show the difference in styles. We hope you enjoy!

Etching

Etching has been a favorite technique for artists for centuries, largely because the method of inscribing the image is so similar to drawing with a pencil or pen. An etching begins with a metal plate that has been coated with a waxy substance called a “ground.” The artist creates a composition by drawing through the ground with a pointed stylus, to expose the metal. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath which “bites” or chemically dissolves the metal in the exposed lines. For printing, the ground is removed, the plate is inked, and then the plate’s surface is wiped clean (leaving the ink only in the etched lines). It is then covered with a sheet of dampened paper and run through the printing press, which not only transfers the ink but forces the paper into the lines, resulting in a raised character of the lines on the impression. Etched lines usually have blunt rather than tapering lines.

Negro Holiday. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Etching, 1933.

Negro Holiday. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Etching, 1933.

Mezzotint

Mezzotint is a technique of engraving areas of tone rather than lines. In this method, the entire surface of the printing plate is roughed by a spiked tool called a rocker. If inked at that point, the entire plate would print in solid black. The artist then works “from black to white” by scraping or burnishing areas so the plate will hold less or no ink, yielding modulated tones. Because of the capabilities for producing almost infinite gradations of tone, mezzotint has been the most successful technique for the black and white adaptation of oil-painted images to the print medium.

Reverie. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1942.

Reverie. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1942.

Wood engravings

Wood engravings are made from the end-grain surface of very hard wood, usually boxwood, as opposed to woodcuts, which are made from side-grain planks of wood neither so hard nor so expensive. Rather than cutting away non-printing areas with a knife, wood engravings are made with fine engraving tools which are used to engrave the non-printing areas with incredible precision and detail. As in woodcuts, it is the surface that takes the ink and prints.

Dawn. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Wood engraving, 1946.

Dawn. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Wood engraving, 1946.

Aquatint

Aquatint is an etching process concerned with areas of tone rather that line. For this technique, the plate is covered with a ground or resin that is granular rather than solid (as in an etching) and bitten with acid. The acid bites in between the granules. The design, wholly in tonal areas not line, is produced by protecting certain areas of the plate from the acid with an impervious varnish, by using multiple bitings to produce different degrees of darkness, and by using several different resins with different grains.

Reclining Figure. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1950.

Reclining Figure. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1950.

If you have any questions about the techniques or want to share which medium is your favorite, feel free to leave a comment below!

You’re Invited…

AMV postcard front small jpeg

Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A RetrospectiveOpening Night Reception
 Friday, September 20th, from 5-8pm
 At The Old Print Gallery

We invite you to join us for an evening of celebration, as we premiere our new fall show- an in-depth retrospective of 20th century printmaker Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Converse with others in the DC art scene while you enjoy an exclusive first-look at the show prints, as well as several of the artist’s original mezzotint printing plates.

Free wine and light refreshments will be served. No RSVP required, all ages welcome.

For more information: WEBSITE, PRESS RELEASE, CONTACT US.

 

 

Print Round-Up: Bicycles

From the earliest depictions of penny farthings and velocipedes on dirt lanes, to modern-day prints of bike commuters navigating busy city streets, our prints celebrate and illustrate the convenience, athleticism, and joy of cycling.  Some of our historic prints show the bicycle in its earliest stages of development- with over-sized front wheels, or still lacking pedals or gears. They also highlight the beginnings of a strong “bike culture” in the 19th century. Many took to this popular form of transportation and amusement, going on long afternoon group rides or joining cycling clubs. We also have several great racing prints, showing fans at the velodrome, watching racers sprint around and around. Contemporary artists like Art Werger, Susan Pyzow, and Su-Li Hung have also depicted cyclists in their prints.

We hope you enjoy our bike print round-up, and we invite you to visit our Washington DC and New York City galleries to view these prints in person!

Tourists. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper's Weekly. Photoengraving, hand colored, 1896. Image size 8 1/2 x 12 1/2" (215 x 317 mm). AT OPG.

Tourists. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Photoengraving, hand colored, 1896. Image size 8 1/2 x 12 1/2″ (215 x 317 mm). AT OPG.

Six-Day Bike Race. BY Joseph W. Golinkin. Watercolor, c.1940. Image size 20 x 24" (508 x 610 mm). AT OPS.

Six-Day Bike Race. By Joseph W. Golinkin. Watercolor, c.1940. Image size 20 x 24″ (508 x 610 mm). AT OPS.

Bicyclist. By Susan Pyzow.  Etching, 2002. Image size 9 x 11 7/8" (225 x 300 mm). Edition 40. AT OPG.

Bicyclist. By Susan Pyzow. Etching, 2002. Image size 9 x 11 7/8″ (225 x 300 mm). Edition 40. AT OPG.

Cyclist Duo. By Richard Sloat. Etching, 2003. Image size 6 x 9 1/2" (152 x 240 mm). Edition 7. AT OPS.

Cyclist Duo. By Richard Sloat. Etching, 2003. Image size 6 x 9 1/2″ (152 x 240 mm). Edition 7. AT OPS.

Bike Lane, Queensborough Bridge. By Steven E. Walker. Woodcut, 2005. Image size 9 9/16 x 7 1/8" (243 x 180 mm). Edition 75. AT OPG.

Bike Lane, Queensborough Bridge. By Steven E. Walker. Woodcut, 2005. Image size 9 9/16 x 7 1/8″ (243 x 180 mm). Edition 75. AT OPG.

A Velocipede of Fifty Years Ago. Published in Harper's Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, 1869. Image size 4 3/16 x 5 3/4" (105 x 146 mm). AT OPS.

A Velocipede of Fifty Years Ago. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, 1869. Image size 4 3/16 x 5 3/4″ (105 x 146 mm). AT OPS.

Bicycle in America.  The Germantown Bicycle Club starting out for a Race. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper's Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, Feb. 7, 1880.  Image size 6 5/8 x 9 1/8" (168 x 231 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycle in America. The Germantown Bicycle Club starting out for a Race. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, Feb. 7, 1880. Image size 6 5/8 x 9 1/8″ (168 x 231 mm). AT OPG.

A Tour Awheel. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper's Weekly. Photogravure, 1899. Image size 6 1/2 x 8 3/8" (164 x 211 mm). AT OPS.

A Tour Awheel. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Photogravure, 1899. Image size 6 1/2 x 8 3/8″ (164 x 211 mm). AT OPS.

Figure Study, Woman on Bicycle. By Martin Lewis. Pencil on paper, c.1935. Image size 7 x 3 1/8" (178 x 80 mm). AT OPS.

Figure Study, Woman on Bicycle. By Martin Lewis. Pencil on paper, c.1935. Image size 7 x 3 1/8″ (178 x 80 mm). AT OPS.

Bicycle. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 2007. Image size 11 3/4 x 12 1/4" (298 x 315 mm). Edition 50. AT OPS.

Bicycle. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 2007. Image size 11 3/4 x 12 1/4″ (298 x 315 mm). Edition 50. AT OPS.

Wheeling on Riverside Drive. BY T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, July 17, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8" (343 x 556 mm.) AT OPG.

Wheeling on Riverside Drive. By T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, July 17, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8″ (343 x 556 mm.) AT OPG.

The Velodrome de la Seine: The Grand-stand. By Georges Scott. Wood engraving, c.1880. Image size 12 1/4 x 19 5/8" (310 x 499 mm.) AT OPG.

The Velodrome de la Seine: The Grand-stand. By Georges Scott. Wood engraving, c.1880. Image size 12 1/4 x 19 5/8″ (310 x 499 mm.) AT OPG.

The Century Run. By Jay Hambidge. Published by Truth Company. Color photoengraving, 1897. Image size 11 x 17 7/8" (273 x 455 mm.). AT OPG.

The Century Run. By Jay Hambidge. Published by Truth Company. Color photoengraving, 1897. Image size 11 x 17 7/8″ (273 x 455 mm.). AT OPG.

Cycling in England - Down the Ripley Road. By Joseph Pennell. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York, Oct. 22, 1887. Wood engraving, hand colored, 1887. Image size  9 1/4 x 12 5/8" (236 x 325 mm). AT OPG.

Cycling in England – Down the Ripley Road. By Joseph Pennell. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York, Oct. 22, 1887. Wood engraving, hand colored, 1887. Image size 9 1/4 x 12 5/8″ (236 x 325 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycling on Riverside Drive, New York. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York. Photoengraving, hand colored, c. 1895. Image size 8 1/2 x 13 1/4" (214 x 339 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycling on Riverside Drive, New York. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York. Photoengraving, hand colored, c. 1895. Image size 8 1/2 x 13 1/4″ (214 x 339 mm). AT OPG.

Delivery. By Art Werger. Etching and aquatint, 2013. Image size 13 1/8 x 9 3/16" (333 x 245 mm). Ed 25. AT OPG.

Delivery. By Art Werger. Etching and aquatint, 2013. Image size 13 1/8 x 9 3/16″ (333 x 245 mm). Ed 25. AT OPG.

AT OPG= Print is located at The Old Print Gallery, 1220 31st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007. www.oldprintgallery.com  t: 202-965-1818

AT OPS= Print is located at The Old Print Shop, 150 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10016. www.oldprintshop.com  t:212-683-3950

Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective

Repose. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1948.

Repose. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1948.

We are very excited to announce to our OPG blog followers and readers our fall 2013 show, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective. We will celebrate Mastro-Valerio’s captivating and varied printmaking career with an exhibition of more than 20 prominent works from the Gallery’s collection. On view from September 20 through November 9, 2013, the show includes Motif in Seascape, the 1949 Cannon Prize winner, as well as several of his original printing plates. We will celebrate the opening of Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective with a free nighttime reception on Friday, September 20, 2013, from 5-8pm at the gallery.

Motif in a Seascape. (Three Nudes). Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1949.

Motif in a Seascape. (Three Nudes). Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1949.

From his earliest drypoints to his later experimentation with mezzotints and aquatints, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio (1887-1953) studied and explored the female form in his 22 years of printmaking. Stumbling upon a display of mezzotint engravings at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, 1933, Mastro-Valerio  was intrigued and enchanted by the printing method. Mastering the medium quickly, he published his first mezzotint in 1934, and one of his earliest mezzotints, Morning, was chosen for Fine Prints of the Year in 1935. Rich in tonality, Mastro-Valerio’s prints glow and breathe, and are filled with a quiet emotion— one that resonates deeply with viewers and his admirers.

Landscape with Buildings.  (Summer Landscape). Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1934.

Landscape with Buildings. (Summer Landscape). Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1934.

His two brief departures from the female nude occurred in the years of 1931 to 1933, when he produced mostly landscapes, and in the last several years of his printmaking career, from 1950 to 1952, when his prints were pure abstractions, created from continuous or single-bite aquatints. Mastro-Valerio also experimented with scale, producing several small works of reclining nudes, each on plates no larger than two-inch squares. Enticing in both miniature form or on a larger scale, Mastro-Valerio’s prints have an undeniable magnetism and draw.

Rhythm. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, c.1939.

Rhythm. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, c.1939.

Reclining Nude (small). Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1937.

Reclining Nude (small). Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1937.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are thrilled with the opportunity to introduce his amazing work to DC’s art community and OPG friends and followers. The retrospective will illustrate the extremely varied and dynamic range of Mastro-Valerio’s prints, and offer many styles ( and price ranges) for interested collectors.  While we are still in the planning stages for the show, our website has been updated with all of his prints. You can see them here.

Make sure to check back on the OPG blog for more details as the show comes together, including information regarding the opening night party and reception!

Figure. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1950.

Three Nudes. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Monoprint, c.1936.

Three Nudes. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Monoprint, c.1936.

Past/Present: Cellist

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two prints from our upcoming summer show, PER∙FORM. The older print is by Doel Reed (1894-1985), and was a special plate published in an edition of 100 prints by The Associated American Artists. Remembered as an important member of the Taos art community after 1960, Doel Reed achieved an international reputation as a landscape artist and printmaker, and as a master of aquatint. His later paintings and aquatints were earth-toned and geometric in style and featured architectural forms of the New Mexico landscape.The aquatint, however, is one of his earlier works, printed in 1946.

The contemporary print is a color linoleum cut by Stanley Kaplan. Kaplan was born in Brooklyn , in 1925. After graduating from the High School of Music and Art, he served two years in the United States Army during WWII. After the war he returned to school studying at Cooper Union and Pratt Institute. He taught art at Nassau Community College for thirty years and in 1978 created Tortoise Press, and subsequently self-published eight artist books. As an active artist since 1950, he has divided his time between wood carved murals, printmaking and artist books.

Image on Left: Evening Music. By Doel Reed. Published by The Associated American Artists. Aquatint, 1946. Edition of 100.

Image on Right: Cellist.  By Stanley Kaplan. Color linoleum cut, 2006. Edition of 25.

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Prints by Alessandro Mastro-Valerio

Below are the nine prints we have by 20th century artist Alessandro Mastro-Valerio (1887-1953). From his earliest drypoints to his later experimentation with aquatints, Mastro-Valerio studied and explored the female form in his 22 years of printmaking. His two brief departures  from the female nude occurred in the years of 1931 to 1933, when he produced mostly landscapes, and in the last several years of his printmaking career, from 1950 to 1952, when his prints were pure abstractions, created from  continuous or single-bite aquatints.

An experienced painter, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio was introduced to printmaking  by his dear friend, Dr. Warren Pl Lombard,  in 1930. His first prints were drypoints. He began experimenting with etching and soft ground in a series of views of the Garganico area in Italy and worked briefly in this period with aquatints. During a trip to Chicago to visit the Century of Progress Exposition in 1933, he saw and was enchanted by a display of mezzotint engravings. Deciding that the medium would yield the image he had been seeking, he quickly taught himself mezzotint engraving. His first mezzotints were published in 1934. One of his earliest mezzotints, Morning, was chosen for Fine Prints of the Year in 1935. In 1948, his print Motif in Seascape won the Cannon prize from the National Academy of Design.

Nude with Breakfast Tray. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Monoprint, c.1940. $1,600.00

Nude with Breakfast Tray. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Monoprint, c.1940. 

Morning Paper. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1941. Presentation Print of the Chicago Society Of Etchers. $1,200.00

Morning Paper. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1941. Presentation Print of the Chicago Society Of Etchers. 

Longing. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1946. $1,250.00.

Longing. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1946. 

Repose. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1948. $750.00.

Repose. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1948. 

Motif in a Seascape. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1949. $675.00.

Motif in a Seascape. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1949. Won the Cannon Prize from the National Academy of Design. 

The Mask. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, c.1949. $475.00.

The Mask. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, c.1949. 

Day and Night. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1950. $525.00.

Day and Night. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1950. 

Life in Still Water. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, c.1950. $225.00.

Life in Still Water. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, c.1950. 

Fury. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, c.1952.

Fury. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, c.1952.

To see or purchase any of the prints shown above, please visit our website or our Georgetown gallery.

 

Print Roundup: Baseball

With the baseball season in full swing, we thought it as good as time as any to share our baseball prints with our readers. (They also make great Father’s Day gifts!!) We have prints ranging from the 19th century all the way up to modern representations of America’s favorite pastime. All of the prints, unless otherwise noted, are in our Georgetown gallery for viewing and buying. We also ship if you are not local to DC. Enjoy!

The Batter. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 1999. Edition 50. $150.00

The Batter. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 1999. Edition 50. $150.00

The American Base-Ball Players in England, Match between  the Red Stockings and the Athletics, Prince's Ground. Published in Harper's Weekly. Full page handcolored wood engraving, Sept. 12, 1874. $250.00

The American Base-Ball Players in England, Match between the Red Stockings and the Athletics, Prince’s Ground. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Full page handcolored wood engraving, Sept. 12, 1874. $250.00

A Collegiate Game of Base-Ball. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper's Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, hand colored, Aug. 31, 1889. A view of a baseball game in progress from the stands behind home plate. $600.00

A Collegiate Game of Base-Ball. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper’s Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, hand colored, Aug. 31, 1889. A view of a baseball game in progress from the stands behind home plate. $600.00

Bases Loaded. By Stanley Kaplan. Linocut, 2007. Edition 25. $250.00

Bases Loaded. By Stanley Kaplan. Linocut, 2007. Edition 25. $250.00

Base-Ball in England - The Match on Lord's Cricket Grounds between the Red Stocking and the Athletics. By Abner Crossman. Published in Harper's Weekly. Wood engraving, 1874. The U.S. and British flag are flying and a large white banner that states: "Champions of the United States." $120.00

Base-Ball in England – The Match on Lord’s Cricket Grounds between the Red Stocking and the Athletics. By Abner Crossman. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, 1874. The U.S. and British flag are flying and a large white banner that states: “Champions of the United States.” $120.00

The American Baseball Players at Kennington Oval - Visit of the Prince of Wales. By T. Walker Wilson. Published in The Illustrated London News. Wood engraving, hand colored,  March 23, 1889. Complicated composite of players in various actions situated around a central view of the game betwen the All-American and Chicago teams, whose members are shown on either side. $385.00

The American Baseball Players at Kensington Oval – Visit of the Prince of Wales. By T. Walker Wilson. Published in The Illustrated London News. Wood engraving, hand colored, March 23, 1889. Complicated composite of players in various actions situated around a central view of the game between the All-American and Chicago teams, whose members are shown on either side. $385.00

Baseball.  By Jake Muirhead. Etching, aquatint & drypoint, 2010. Inscribed, "A/P." $400.00.

Baseball. By Jake Muirhead. Etching, aquatint & drypoint, 2010. Inscribed, “A/P.” $400.00.

The Great Contest Between the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn and the Athletics of Philedelphia, at the Capitoline Grounds, Fulton Avenue, Brooklyn, Monday, Oct. 16th. Published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Wood engraving, Nov. 3, 1866. A lively scene of baseball between a Brooklyn and a Philadelphia team. Spectators surrond the playing field. $120.00

The Great Contest Between the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn and the Athletics of Philadelphia, at the Capitoline Grounds, Fulton Avenue, Brooklyn, Monday, Oct. 16th. Published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Wood engraving, Nov. 3, 1866. A lively scene of baseball between a Brooklyn and a Philadelphia team. Spectators surround the playing field. $120.00

Dugout. By Deron DeCesare. Drypoint, 1999. Edition 30. $175.00.

Dugout. By Deron DeCesare. Drypoint, 1999. Edition 30. $175.00.

BOOM! That N.L. Race.  (National Baseball League). By Willard Harlin Mullin. Ink wash with white highlights, c.1955. The bubbles above the three spectators "Ain't it Purty!; Magnificent!; Never Saw Anything Like It!." A fun cartoon showing the seven teams in contention. $1,100.00

BOOM! That N.L. Race. (National Baseball League). By Willard Harlin Mullin. Ink wash with white highlights, c.1955. The bubbles above the three spectators “Ain’t it Purty!; Magnificent!; Never Saw Anything Like It!.” A fun cartoon showing the seven teams in contention. $1,100.00 *At The Old Print Shop in New York City.

King of the Swingers. By Larry Welo. Etching with chine colle, 1996. Edition 100. $400.00

King of the Swingers. By Larry Welo. Etching with chine colle, 1996. Edition 100. $400.00. *At The Old Print Shop in New York City.