Loading Spinner

Engraving Prints

Engraving is a type of Intaglio printmaking where lines are furrowed into a metal plate with a sharp angled tool known as a burin. The plate is then inked and pressed to create the image. Though forms of engraving have existed since the Stone Age, this painstaking technique was refined in the mid-1400s in Germany, and was used extensively for mapmaking, mass-produced illustrations for books, and even for the printing of currency.

Engraving reached its zenith in the mid-1500s, when artists began to create prints of monumental size and minute detail. The versatility of the technique allows for a tremendous level of detail, while still showing subtle tonalities, depending upon the length and width of the furrowed lines.

Artists often vary the width of parallel lines by using a burin with a wider angle, or incise crosshatched lines to create shading and tone. This technique was pioneered by the Italian master artist Andrea Mantegna, who is known for creating astonishing three-dimensional effects.


Quick Facts

  • The bible references the engraving technique several times within the Old Testament, in reference to religious garments and articles
  • Several bible passages also indicate that the role of engraver was considered specialized and required significant training
  • Before being elevated to a high art form by artists such as Andrea Mantegna and Albrecht Dürer, engraving was the exclusive technique of metalsmiths

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Group Lot of 9 Pieces of Art
Oct 12, 11:00 AM EDT
Group Lot of 9 Pieces of Art
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$100 Bids
Mythen und Götter : der Griechen und Römer. Sammlung von 124 Kupferstichen in 2 Bänden.
Oct 11, 10:00 AM CEST
Mythen und Götter : der Griechen und Römer. Sammlung von 124 Kupferstichen in 2 Bänden.
by Galerie Bassenge
Est: €500- €750
€5000 Bids
John Speed (British, 1552-1629), Suffolk
Oct 07, 10:00 AM BST
John Speed (British, 1552-1629), Suffolk
by Kinghams Auctioneers
Est: £80- £120
£500 Bids
John James Audubon Red Tailed Hawk, Male 1.F.2. (Falco Borealis)
Oct 22, 10:00 AM MST
John James Audubon Red Tailed Hawk, Male 1.F.2. (Falco Borealis)
by Larsen Art Auction
Est: $7,000- $10,000
$4,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Engraving Prints


Regency Antique Books

Regency Antique Books

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Galerie Bassenge

Galerie Bassenge

Wright

Wright