Winterlace II, 1954
Unmounted (ref: 5624)
The original zinc plate, canceled, together with a posthumous print taken from the plate.
12 x 8 1/2 in. (31.5 x 21.5 cm.)
Tags: Robert Austin plate flowers
Provenance: The Artist's family
This original zinc plate, upon which Austin worked directly, was for an acquatint rather than an etching. Aquatints, though printed, look rather like drawings in ink or watercolor. The technique - which Austin explored later in his life (Summer Night II dates to the same period) - can be used to produce shaded areas ideal for modeling and creating atmospheric tones. The process involves biting with acid a fine network of lines around grains of resin; the tiny etched channels hold ink that prints as a veil of tone.
Francisco Goya famously took great advantage of aquatint printmaking, in his Los Caprichos series (1799); Los Desastres de la Guerra (1810–19); La Tauromaquia (1816); and Los disparates (ca. 1816–23).
David Hockney has created a number of aquatints in his "The Blue Guita" series.
Examples of original printing plates by Austin are in the collections of The Royal Academy, The Ashmoleon Museum, Canterbury Art Gallery and The Hunterian, Glasgow.