Mezzotint

A print produced by a tonal rather than linear engraving process. It was a popular eighteenth century method of printing used to produce effects of light and shade. A copper or steel plate is worked all over with a curved, serrated tool called a rocker, making a burr over the surface to hold the ink that will print as a soft dark tone. The design is then created in lighter tones by scraping and burnishing areas of the roughened plate so that they hold less ink, or none in highlights.

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Detail from the Sistine Madonna, by William Say, after  Raphael (Raffaello Santi), (circa 1512-1514) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Detail from the Sistine Madonna
by William Say, after Raphael (Raffaello Santi)
(circa 1512-1514)
NPG D11342

Mary, Princess of Orange, by William Faithorne Jr, after  Adriaen Hanneman, circa 1680 (1660) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Mary, Princess of Orange
by William Faithorne Jr, after Adriaen Hanneman
circa 1680 (1660)
NPG D10636

Isaac Watts, by George White, sold by  Edward Dilly, and sold by  Charles Dilly, 1727 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Isaac Watts
by George White, sold by Edward Dilly, and sold by Charles Dilly
1727
NPG 640

Pierre Jean Baptiste Chardin, by and sold by John Faber Jr, after  Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin, 1740 (1737) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Pierre Jean Baptiste Chardin
by and sold by John Faber Jr, after Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin
1740 (1737)
NPG D10658

Young man holding candlestick, by Thomas Frye, published 1760 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Young man holding candlestick
by Thomas Frye
published 1760
NPG D11289

George Douglas, by William Say, published by  Edward Orme, after  Caroline Lucy Douglas, circa 1803-1834 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

George Douglas
by William Say, published by Edward Orme, after Caroline Lucy Douglas
circa 1803-1834
NPG D11329

James Gillray, by Charles Turner, after  James Gillray, circa 1819 (circa 1800) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

James Gillray
by Charles Turner, after James Gillray
circa 1819 (circa 1800)
NPG D2775

'Othello'
by William Say, after Henri Jean-Baptiste Victoire Fradelle
circa 1825-1834
NPG D11374

The Bridal Morn (Queen Victoria; Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), by Samuel William Reynolds Jr, after  Frederick William Lock, published 1844 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

The Bridal Morn (Queen Victoria; Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha)
by Samuel William Reynolds Jr, after Frederick William Lock
published 1844
NPG D11227

Fictitious portrait called Lady Jane Dudley (née Grey), by George Dawe, after  John Graham, circa 1795 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Fictitious portrait called Lady Jane Dudley (née Grey)
by George Dawe, after John Graham
circa 1795
NPG D11096

Arthur Cohen, by Sir Francis Job (

Arthur Cohen
by Sir Francis Job ('Frank') Short, after John Singer Sargent
1917 (1906)
NPG D12034

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