The Bridge in Middle Distance, Charles Mallord William Turner and Charles Turner
Etching, aquatint and mezzotint, roughly 7 x 11 inches (18 x 28 cm).
Link is to zoomable version on the Google Art Project; original is in the National Gallery of
Art, DC, which has both zoomable and downloadable versions.
As he frequently did, British artist Joseph Mallord William Turner worked with master printmaker Charles Turner (no relation) to produce this beautiful lanscape print.
In this case, JMW Turner designed the image did the primary etching, calling on Charles Turner to apply the tones under his direction using the processes of aquatint and mezzotint.
Aquatint involves coating part of the plate in particles of resin, leaving a granular halftone when the plate is etched in acid. Mezzotint is a process in which the plate, or parts of it, are roughened with a special textured “rocker”, leaving a surface that will print as tones that can be burnished to produce variations.
Like most prints, there are multiple impressions of this one; there is another in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This was one of seventy plus images for which Turner made prints as part of a collection called “Liber Studiorum” (Book of Studies), intended to demonstrate examples of his ideas about landscape. For another beautiful print from that series, see my previous post: Eye Candy for Today: JMW Turner etching and mezzotint.