Although a few printmakers experimented with printing etchings in color beginning in the 1870s, the idea did not really become popular until the 1890s. Müller represents this new interest and produced about 100 color etchings that combine densely bitten aquatint with irregularly wiped plates, epitomizing the turn-of-the-century taste for rich, painterly effects. The portrait of Cléo de Mérode (1875-1966), a fashionable dancer, is produced almost entirely in aquatint printed as broad planes and shapes of color that simplify and flatten the figure and define a shallow space. The very texture of the aquatint further emphasizes the surface and the flatness of the paper.
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