Copperplate

Copperplate

The small editions of woodcuts quickly led to the development of other printing techniques, with copperplate engravings enjoying the greatest success. Copperplate engraving is an intaglio technique, and as such the inverse of a woodcut. With intaglio printing, the image is carved into the plate. The lines this produces are then filled with ink and the surface of the plate wiped clean. The image is then printed onto the paper using a rolling press. Copperplate engraving allows a much more detailed depiction than woodcuts, as well as larger editions, since the material is more robust than the woodblocks. The technique is thought to have been developed by goldsmiths, who embellish their works in a similar fashion using engraving.