Samuel Arlent Edwards American, born England
After Bernardino Luini Italian

Not on view

Samuel Arlent Edwards was an English-born artist and book illustrator working in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Educated at the Kensington Art School and trained in engraving by Appleton, Josey, and Alais of London, he became widely known for his mezzotints printed in color, an art form that had flourished and peaked in 18th-century Britain. Edwards's mezzotints range from reproductions of well-known European paintings by Botticelli, Boucher, and Da Vinci, to British and American portraits. He was meticulous about his work, and often inscribed "Engraved and printed in color at one printing without retouching" on each impression. His plates were issued in limited numbers then destroyed.

To make a mezzotint, a tool called a rocker is first used to roughen the surface of a copper plate and produce a texture known as "burr." A burnisher is then applied to selectively flatten areas of the burr and create an image. When the plate is inked and printed, burnished areas read as lights against the velvety darks produced by the burr.

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