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MFA Acc. #: 2001.144


An engraving process invented in the middle of the 17th century. Mezzotint plates, usually Copper or Steel, contain a pattern of burred holes that hold the ink. The burrs are either partially or completely removed to provide a wide range of subtle tones in the print.

Synonyms and Related Terms

black manner; mezzotint (Ned., Sven.); zwarte kunstprent (Ned.); manière noire (Fr.); Schabkunst (Deut.); Mezzotinto (Deut.); mezzatinta (It.); media tinta (Esp.)

Mezzotint, detail

Additional Information

C.Wax, The Mezzotint: History and Technique, London 1990.


  • The Bullfinch Guide to Art History, Shearer West (ed.), Bullfinch Press, Boston, 1996

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