Spanish (1746-1828) Estan calientes, (They are Hot)
image size: 217mm x 154mm
Museum Purchase, 1994.0064 View full recordWhat to Look for:
Aquatint is a method that allows the artist to print tonal passages in an etching. The artist applies a very fine dusting of powdered rosin to the etching plate. When this rosin dust is heated it bonds to the metal plate with each dust particle forming a minute area that resists acid. The plate is bitten in an acid bath, resulting is a fine texture that will hold ink. The longer the plate is left in the acid the deeper the texture will be bitten and the darker it will print. Goya was a masterful aquatint artist. He has bitten this plate several times, using an acid-resistant "stop-out" to protect the areas he wanted to remain lighter. If you look at the monk's knee you can see what appear to be white brush strokes. This is where Goya applied stop-out with a brush before the first acid bath, leaving the metal plate entirely unbitten. These areas of the plate hold no ink and therefore allow the white of the paper to show through. Subequent immersions in the acid result in increasing dark passages (compare the top left and right). Below the monk's knee you can see where Goya has gone back to work on an aquatint passage with a burnisher. The burnisher smooths the aquatint texture and creates lighter areas like the wispy areas below the knee.