Engraving is a unique art form that requires the artist to use not only pencils and brushes, but also a chisel. The technique of creating engravings is quite complicated: the image is cut into the plate made of metal, wood, linoleum, cardboard and other dense materials. The resulting base is coated with paint and then printed on a sheet of paper.
The art of engraving originated in the 15th century. Artists of that era experimented with available materials – first engravers used inexpensive wooden and metal plates (mainly copper ones). The development of this type of art was largely influenced by the invention of the printing press: soon, handwritten miniatures that were used to illustrate books were replaced by engravings.
At first, engravers used biblical scenes as plots for their works, but over time, they began to depict events from ancient myths, landscapes, portraits of famous people, and scenes from everyday life. Despite the fact that the set of visual means was not too diverse (strokes, scratches, cuts, mordanting), great engravers of the Middle Ages managed to create works of art that still amaze the viewer with clear-cut lines, play of shades and meanings, regardless of the laconicism of their depiction.
Over time, the art of engraving developed: new directions appeared, the classical engraving technique was improved and the new ones were invented. Engravings were created with the techniques of engraved or relief printing, etching, printmaking, xylography, lithography, monotyping and silk-screen printing. Today, these techniques are used by modern engravers, creating original images that tell about the world around us – about people, nature, unique objects and phenomena.
Our art portal invites you on a tour of the virtual room of engravings, where you can look at the works by outstanding engravers of the past and present.