Lointaine (JSK)-Art Cloumn-

The Beginning of Etching: Artisans in Metalwork

 The technique of etching was first experimented with on steel plates around 1500 by Daniel Hopfer. This method derived from the armor etching techniques that had been used since the 14th century. Specifically, it involves applying a design to a metal surface covered in wax, then using acid to reveal the pattern. In 1520, Lucas van Leyden began etching on copper plates, and advancements in resist materials and improvements in etching solutions led to the establishment of the foundations of copperplate engraving. This technique spread across Europe in the 16th century, becoming firmly established as a new form of artistic expression.

Patterns on the Medieval European Armor

Left:Three German Soldiers Armed with Halberds,Daniel Hopfer,1510
Right:Three old women beating a devil on the ground,Daniel Hopfer,early 16 centuries

Rembrandt's Contribution to the Development of Etching

  Etching is a technique where ink is applied to grooves made on a copper plate, and then transferred onto paper under pressure. There are two main methods involved in this process. One is direct engraving on the copper plate, which includes techniques like engraving, drypoint, and mezzotint. The other involves the use of chemicals on the copper plate, known as "intaglio etching," which includes techniques like etching, aquatint, and soft-ground etching. These techniques are often combined for various effects.
A significant figure in the advancement of etching technology was the Dutch painter Rembrandt, who flourished during the 17th century. Rembrandt's mastery of light and shadow, as seen in works like "The Night Watch," translated seamlessly into the world of etching.
  He produced over 300 prints, contributing to the development of etching techniques through his experimentation with etching processes, delicate line work using drypoint and burin, exploration of the effects achieved through ink wiping, and research into the finishing of print papers such as Japanese and parchment.

Left:Christ with the Sick around Him, Receiving Little Children (The 'Hundred Guilder Print') ,Rembrandt,1649
Right:The Three Crosses,Rembrandt,1653

Portrait by Rembrandt and Jan Gillisz van Vliet of George I Rákóczi

The Sculptor's Studio and Tools that Became Constellations

  In the 2nd century, the ancient Roman astronomer Ptolemy established 48 constellations, to which additional constellations like those in the southern hemisphere were added. In 1922, the International Astronomical Union adopted the modern 88 constellations, among which there are two constellations associated with sculpture. These are the constellations of "Sculptor" and "Graver." They were created by the French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century. These new constellations were first introduced in Lacaille's star chart, published in "Histoire de l'Académie royale des sciences" in 1756.
  The constellation Sculptor depicts a sculptor's studio, with a head carved on a tripod table, along with a marble block, mallet, and chisel. On the other hand, the constellation Graver portrays engraving tools, with a burin and a drypoint needle tied together with a ribbon.

Caelum from Johann Elert Bode,Uranographia, 1801

Sculptor from Johann Bode’s Uranographia, 1801