Louis Icart - Melody Hour
French (1888 – 1950)
Louis Icart Melody Hour – 1935
The Louis Icart Melody Hour etching epitomizes the depiction of women during the art deco period. He created in excess of 500 etchings. He did this using a combination techniques. These include etching, dry point, and hand coloring. The book “Buying Works by Icart.” characterizes these methods in detail. He is best know for his full sized etchings. However, he also illustrated erotic illustrated books. Similarly, he produced many beautiful pastel enhanced lithographs, menu covers, posters, postcards, advertising prints, and oils on canvas.
More on the technique.
Using the drypoint process, Icart could sketch an idea onto a blank copper or zinc plate. For this, he used a diamond point or another sharp tool. The incised lines would then hold and print the ink. Etching lines are created by using an acid to dissolve the plate in areas that are uncovered. The etched lines are typically the same width from one end to the other. Drypoint lines vary in their width, darkness and may actually be missing is some areas. In the first runs of the plate, the edges of the lines with exhibit feathery appearance.
Details of the technique.
This occurs because ink is held in the burr. Thus, the burr forms when the metal pushes up along the length of the line. Working with the diamond point creates this phenomena. This is similar to a furrow that forms when a farmer plows a field. Furthermore, each time the plate is printed, it must be wiped to remove excess ink and other stray material. During this process the burr wears down. The further a particular etching is in a run, the burr will have worn down. Eventually the rich wider look to the lines will be missing.
For lines formed using etching, there will be blunt end. A pointed end is more indicative of engravings. Usually, etched lines have the same appearance over the area of the paper. The width of drypoint lines will vary.
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Louis Icart Melody Hour Etching