Stipple engraving

20 December 2010 § Leave a comment

Stipple engraving is a form of intaglio printing where an image is build up out of stipples. The term ‘stipple engraving’ mostly refers to the technique ‘developed’ in England in the 1760’s by William Wynne Ryland and Francesco Bartolozzi (and Italian active in England), but was around much longer. While the ‘dotted manner’ was used as early as the regular engraving, it was only used as part of line engravings. But there are few exceptions like the Dutch goldsmith Jan Lutma junior who made engravings ‘opus mallei’, using only an awl, which made a much clearer dot then a burin.

With the exception of Jan Lutma, advanced stipple engravings didn’t exist until the second half of the eighteenth century when it developed from the crayon manner and the use of a combination of etching and engraving techniques. The stipple engraving became very popular in England, especially in combination with coloring 1a la poupée, but the technique didn’t receive much following in the rest of the world.


SALAMAN, M.C. The old engravers of England in their relation to contemporary life and art (1540-1800). London, Paris, New York and Melbourne: Cassel and Company, 1906. pp. 203-218.

HARVEY, F. ‘Stipple engravings as practised in England’. In: Print Collector’s Quarterly 17 (1930). pp. 48-71.

LINDEN, F. van der. Grafische technieken. De Bilt: Cantecleer, 1970. pp. 118-119.

GASCOIGNE, B. How to identify prints. A complete guide tot manual and mechanical processes from woodcut to inkjet. High Holborn: Thames & Hudson, 2004. 14b.



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