Definition of mezzotint in English:

mezzotint

noun

  • 1A print made from an engraved copper or steel plate, the surface of which has been scraped and polished to give areas of shade and light respectively. The technique was much used in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries for the reproduction of paintings:

    ‘a series of mezzotints produced in the early 19th century’
    • ‘Many of the pictures in this exhibition show his desire for simplicity, especially in the watercolours and mezzotints, which results in some of the first great Impressionist images.’
    • ‘Thomas Jones Barker's The Secret of England's Greatness was exhibited in 1863 at the height of public support for the abolition of American slavery during the Civil War and proved popular as a mezzotint.’
    • ‘To be sure, this was not Durand's line engraving of 1823 but a mezzotint by the leading French practitioner of the technique, Jean Pierre Marie Jazet.’
    • ‘Gross, a master of etching in charge of graphics at the Slade School of Art, later helped Daphne Reynolds to develop mezzotints, the deep, velvety blacks created with home-made ink.’
    • ‘There are many genres where prints of the highest quality, such as seventeenth-century French portraits, early lithographs and mezzotints are ridiculously cheap.’
    • ‘C.R.W. Nevinson is synonymous with a spiky, geometric English Futurism, but the three mezzotints in the British Museum of cityscapes have a gorgeous inky blackness out of which roofs in his typical style are all but subsumed.’
    • ‘At first glance, Brockhurst's work may look like aquatints or mezzotints.’
    • ‘All the etchings and mezzotints from the book were the subject of an exhibition at the library in 1900, organized by its first print curator Frank Weitenkampf, who was selected by Avery.’
    • ‘His imagery conveys intense emotion, and the beauty of his mezzotints is everlasting.’
    • ‘Verkolje also made a mezzotint from the painting, in which the subject is reversed left to right.’
    • ‘Reynolds's portrait of Garrick being tugged right and left by Comedy and Tragedy is here, but as a mezzotint.’
    • ‘The portrait appears to have been painted to mark the Royal Academy's move to purpose-built premises in Somerset House in 1780 and to publish the message abroad Green was commissioned to make a fine mezzotint of the subject.’
    • ‘Included in the exhibition are largescale portraits by such court painters as Sir Peter Lely as well as miniatures and mezzotints.’
    • ‘He was skilled in the art of a number of different printing techniques such as woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints.’
    • ‘After the mezzotint has been in his office for some hours, Williams examines it again, thinking that perhaps he had been too hasty in his earlier dismissal of it.’
    • ‘There are no fewer than five open Bibles in the picture, and the walls are adorned with a memorial commemorating a dead son and an ominous mezzotint, Samson Carrying Off the Gates of Gaza by James Lucas.’
    • ‘Alfred Joseph Annedouche, a frequent engraver of large plates for Goupil, produced the mezzotint in 1873, two years after Bouguereau made the painting.’
    • ‘In the 18th century mezzotints were issued in a highly artificial and codified manner - proofs before all letters, proofs with scratched letters - and aimed therefore at a sophisticated collecting fraternity.’
    • ‘Shortly after completing the commission, Marchant engaged John Sartain to produce a mezzotint of the portrait.’
    • ‘For this work, he executed the majority of the etchings from which the published mezzotints were made.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun] The technique or process of making mezzotints:
      ‘his portrait was engraved in mezzotint by John Dixon’
      • ‘The school offered classes on lithography, etching, drypoint, mezzotint and wood engraving until the Groat Depression forced it to close its doors after only a year.’
      • ‘Sandu's art is on paper executed with one, or a mixture, of the following techniques: etching, aqua forte, aquatint, dry point and mezzotint.’
      • ‘Similar to mezzotint, aquatint is a technique to produce prints with the effect of printing rather whole areas than just lines.’
      • ‘This is the first exhibition devoted to Ruskin's engagement with printmaking examining his use of various methods, etching, woodcut, mezzotint and steel and copper engraving.’
      • ‘Nuuk is rich with undertones, tidal washes, deep swathes of velvet mezzotint, patient soundings, submarinal echoes.’
      • ‘His novelties in technique often flowed from these tasks; he experimented with mezzotint, and worked closely with the engravers who translated his pictures into print.’
      • ‘This second part is about the intaglio printmaking techniques - engraving, drypoint, etching, aquatint, stipple, mezzotint.’
      • ‘He occasionally made sculpture and was regarded as one of the leading British printmakers of his day; some of his prints were in mezzotint, a technique he helped to revive.’
      • ‘His technique was mezzotint, the hybrid drypoint technique in which a texture is applied to a prepared etching plate, and the image is painstakingly burnished in.’
      • ‘It discusses not only these and other panels, but also the artist's productions in the recently developed medium of mezzotint.’
      • ‘In a mezzotint, a serrated tool is used to roughen areas that will retain ink to be printed, while areas to remain white are burnished and scraped smooth so that ink can be wiped away.’
      • ‘Close took up many different techniques, among them etching, aquatint, lithography, mezzotint, linoleum cuts, and woodcuts, and found help from skilled printers.’
      • ‘The intaglio printmaking techniques are engraving, drypoint, etching, aquatint, stipple, mezzotint and are discussed in part two of this article.’
      • ‘Short revived aquatint and mezzotint as both creative and reproductive media, and his etchings were praised by Whistler, who often visited Short's studio for advice on technical matters.’
      • ‘Many engravers at this time complained of the rivalry of easier techniques, such as mezzotint and stipple engraving, and argued for the moral superiority of their more demanding technique.’
      • ‘The centre offered a wide range of media - intaglio processes such as etching, aquatint, dry point and mezzotint, as well as woodcuts, screen prints and other forms of colour printing.’
      • ‘His decision to work in mezzotint was partly perverse, as it was an antiquated medium so labor-intensive that it was only rarely practiced.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Engrave (a picture) in mezzotint:

    ‘he practised engraving, mezzotinting, and water colouring’
    • ‘Francis Wheatley produced four images for the ’Market‘series, all of which were mezzotinted by Annis and published in April 1803.’
    • ‘To the degree that the image is ‘extracted’ from its background by means of burnishing, the process is akin to mezzotinting.’
    • ‘For images that would otherwise be printed with a coarse screen ruling, mezzotinting can yield greater detail and a sharper image, while adding beauty and reducing file size.’
    • ‘These prints were mezzotinted by Richard Earlom, the leading craftsman of the day whose mezzotints are amongst the finest ever produced.’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century steel was used instead of copper for mezzotinting and this allowed a larger number of impressions.’
    • ‘Not only will mezzotinting give you stunning effects, but you'll also get more detail and a sharper image.’
    • ‘It is interesting though because he alludes to mezzotinting, a printmaking process developed in the 17th century.’
    • ‘In the other version of this etching, not mezzotinted by Ward, he is simply R.A.’
    • ‘They were mezzotinted to imitate the bistre drawings.’
    • ‘The downside of mezzotinting is that the plate does not last very long, for the depth of the pits was very shallow and a few dozen impressions could wear a plate out.’
    • ‘Schmid first learned the art of mezzotinting in the Czech Republic, she notes in her biography, and developed this skill in Slovakia, where she was a Fulbright fellow.’
    • ‘Le Blon, originally from Frankfurt-am-Main, was the first to use colored mezzotinting, which involved making three different impressions (with blue, yellow, and red inks) using copperplates.’
    • ‘This, of course, refers to mezzotinting on copper; on steel it yields much larger editions.’

Origin

From Italian mezzotinto, from mezzo half + tinto tint.

Pronunciation

mezzotint

/ˈmɛzəʊtɪnt//ˈmɛtsəʊtɪnt/