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Intaglio

Intaglio is a printing technique in which the image is incised into a surface. Normally, copper or zinc plates are used, and the incisions are created by etching or engraving the image, but one may also use mezzotint. In printing, the surface is covered in ink, and then rubbed vigorously with tarlatan cloth or newspaper to remove the ink from the surface, leaving it in the incisions. A damp piece of paper is placed on top, and the plate and paper are run through a printing press that, through pressure, transfers the ink to the paper.

The term is sometimes also used for engraved seals, which leave a raised design when pressed on to the material to be stamped, and is an Italian word that means the activity of carving (mainly) wood for decorative purposes (i.e., in furniture).

Contrast with relief print techniques.



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