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Paul Sandby

1731 – 1809

Pimble Meer by Paul Sandby

Pimble Meer   1777

  Original aquatint with etching.
Signed in the plate.
S 250 x 343 mm; P 239 x 314 mm; I  201 x 292 mm
Delicate tonal impression with the subtle balance of tints in the sky still fresh and before any sign of wear. Printed in dark sepia ink, as published by Paul Sandby himself in the scarce third series of XII Views in Wales.

A beautiful early example of one of Sandby’s most tranquil Welsh views.

Paul Sandby’s magnificient work in aquatint is considered to be one of the major turning points in the history of printmaking. The importance of his innovative and pioneering work in this medium cannot be overstated. Although Sandby neither invented the original process of aquatint, nor was the first to use it in this country, he established the technique as a means of reproduing topographical watercolours and gave the process the name by which it is known. ‘Aquatinta’, as he first called it, is derived from the words ‘Aqua’, meaning water, and ‘Tinctus’, meaning stained.

Sandby, however, refined the original process by introducing the concept of laying the aquatint ground through floating it on to the plate in a suspension in alcohol. His design could then be ‘painted’ on to the prepared plate using a water based substance which would cause the protective varnish to lift, thus, exposing the grounded plate to the effect of the acid bath. This method allowed him to produce the finest of grounds and gave him a freedom of handling through which the subtlest gradations of tone and the effects of watercolour washes could be obtained.

On antique laid paper with narrow margins beyond platemark on all sides. Generally very good condition.