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Aug 05, '21

The Process

The print is a copperplate engraving /etching printed on laid paper circa 1792. The sheet has a large paper-maker's watermark (seen when the sheet is held up to a strong light) which shows a large heraldic shield with a Fleur-de-lille. The sheet measures 13 1/2 X 10 1/2 inches and is in good / fair condition due to small bends, a very small tear on the top edge, light surface soiling and age toning. The image is made up of 8 etchings after small etchings by Rembrandt. The etched image in the upper right corner bears the small monogram of William Baillie. The rest of the images bear the signature of Rembrandt with their original published date.

Captain William Baillie (b.1723 - d.1810) was a well-known amateur who aquired a distinguished reputation as an engraver. He was born at Killbride, County Carlow, in 1723, and passed the early part of his life in the army, from which he retired with the rank of captain of cavalry. On leaving the service Captain Baillie devoted his life entirely to the arts, and was for many years considered one of the most enlightened connoisseurs of his time. By this gentleman we have several plates engraved in various manners; but his most admired productions are those he executed in the style of Rembrandt, and his charming copies after the etchings of that master.

He died in 1810. The works of Captain Baillie were published in two folio volumes by Boydell, in 1792, entitled, 'A Series of 225 Prints and Etchings after Rembrandt, Teniers, G. Dou, Poussin, and others.' There is nothing printed on the reverse side.The image is black & white although the scan may give the appearance of a rainbow hue. This is an antique print guaranteed to be over 200 years old.


Laid paper is distinguished from wove paper by the presence of thin, parallel lines visible when the paper is held to light. The lines are usually a few millimeters apart. Laid paper is a type of paper having a ribbed texture imparted by the manufacturing process. It use was diminished by the 1790's by the introduction of wove paper (which eliminated the ribbed lines for a smoother printing surface.)


A copperplate engraving is an intaglio process, i.e. it is the grooves, rather than the raised portions that are inked. The steps are: 1.) A drawing is cut into a copper plate using a burin, a metal tool with a sharp point, to remove the metal and create the lines of the drawing. 2.) Ink is applied to the plate with a dabber or roller, and forced into the grooves. 3.) The surface is cleaned with soft muslin. 4.) A sheet of paper is laid over the plate. 5.) The plate and paper are passed through a rolling press that applies pressure and forces the paper into the grooves to pick up the ink. Prints made with copperplate engraving process usually have a plate-mark left around the image, showing where the plate was pressed into the paper. Steel engraving replaced copperplate engraving in the early 1820's.


Frequency and Resonance

Etching from 1976 Boxtel Noord Brabant, Nederland. I did this while working at the Gezondheidsdienst voor Dieren. (Aged 22)

The same technique

Gallery Take 2

'Connoisseurs examining a collection of George Moreland's' A satirical print by James Gillray: Caricaturist. Featuring Captain William Baillie (1807)


Aug 05, '21
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