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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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"The Artful Disposition of Shades"

John Dixon, A Tigress James Watson, Paulus Pontius Thomas Frye,Ipse Richard Earlom, A Blacksmith’s Shop Valentine Green, Experiment on the Air Pump Richard Earlom, A Flower Piece John Jones, Mrs. Tollemache in the Character of Miranda

The Great Age of English Mezzotints

January 19 through March 14, 2010

In the century and a half before the advent of photomechanical reproductions in the mid-1800s, mezzotints were the favored medium for publicizing English paintings. Compared to traditional printmaking techniques, such as engraving and etching, the new tonal method was praised by contemporaries for its ability to represent the painterly qualities of light and shadow. Although generations of artist had used prints to heighten awareness of their designs, the establishment of regular public exhibitions in London in the second half of the eighteenth century significantly increased the demand for inexpensive and widely available editions of fashionable pictures. Many painters embraced the picturesque appearance of mezzotints, including Reynolds, Turner, and Constable.

Press Release >>

Generously supported by the Bernard R. Siskind 1955 Fund and the Cissy Patterson Fund.

The Great Age of English Mezzotints Brochure

Download the exhibition brochure

Exhibition Panoramas

Mezzotints Panoramas

Click here for gallery panoramas of "The Artful Disposition of Shades": The Great Age of English Mezzotints.

Related Events

27 January,Wednesday, 5:30 P.M.
Arthur M. Loew Auditorium
Art and Industry: A History of Mezzotint Engraving

Carol Wax, artist and author of The Mezzotint: History and Technique

30 January, Saturday, 2:00 P.M.
“The Artful Disposition of Shades”: The Great Age of English Mezzotints

16 February,Tuesday, 12:30 P.M.
Mezzotint: The Art of Darkness

Louise Hamlin, Professor and Chair, Studio Art Department, Dartmouth College

19 February, Friday, 10:30 A.M.
Two Rivers Print Studio, Tip Top Building, White River Junction
Print Demonstration and Lunch

Join artists Judy Lampe and Sheri Hancock-Tomek and Curator of European Art Bart Thurber for a mezzotint printmaking demonstration and discussion. Pre-selected lunch at the Tip Top Café to follow. Space is limited. Call (603) 646-9660 for reservations. 

27 February, Saturday, 2:00 P.M.
“The Artful Disposition of Shades”: The Great Age of English Mezzotints

2 March,Tuesday, 12:30 P.M.
The Beauty of Shadows: Eighteenth-Century English Mezzotints
T. Barton Thurber, Curator of European Art, Hood Museum of Art

3 March,Wednesday, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Velvety Prints
In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about an extraordinary form of printmaking known as “mezzotint.” Mezzotints produce velvety surfaces and textures that look like charcoal drawings. In the studio, we’ll explore a simplified version of this process. No previous art experience necessary. Participation is limited. Call (603) 646-1469 to register.

Last Updated: 3/30/10