Cultivated Medlar (Mespilus germanica)

Cultivated Medlar (Mespilus germanica)

c. 1800

Gerard van Spaendonck

(Dutch, 1746-1822)

Stipple and roulette

Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland, for the Donald Gray Memorial Collection 1939.289

Description

The brown and blue-green inks were printed à la poupée. Instead of making a plate for each color, a single plate is selectively inked in different colors using stumps of rags, known as dolls (poupée in French), so that the complete design is printed at one time. Since this process is laborious, the plate was most often colored by hand with watercolor, like the right-hand impression. The printed color, however, creates a more beautiful effect, because all of the subtleties of the shading are evident. In comparison, the watercolor camouflages some of the finest detail.

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