This blog is a record of my adventures as a copper plate etcher and printmaker. I'm a self-taught amateur learning from the ground up.
"I will again define etching as an impression set down on a copper plate from nature or life -- not a built up, elaborated composition."
Joseph Pennell

Friday, July 2, 2010

Etching Of The Week

What, you ask? How can this be the etching of the week when it's Friday? Because the week's not over until tomorrow I answer, thereby leaving you astounded at my logic. Hmmm. In any case, it's better late than never.

The etching above is another I really like and was etched and printed by Otto Henry Bacher (1856-1909). It is a view of the Royal Garden at Schleisheim. Bacher was an American artist from Cleveland, Ohio who had studied in Germany and done some etchings. He happened to be in Venice in 1879 at the time James McN. Whistler was there. Whistler was supposed to be working on twelve plates for the Fine Art Society back in England but while working on these also produced many pastels and oils. It was in Venice that the two were introduced and became good friends. Bacher had an old wooden plate press like the one in the photo below and Whistler came often to his lodgings to print proofs of his ongoing work.

For his part Bacher was an eager pupil and Whistler wanted to teach. Bacher was a good observer and just as interested in the technical aspects of etching as Whistler. After Whistler's death Bacher published With Whistler In Venice in 1909. I highly recommend anyone interested in etching or art in general read this book as it describes in great detail Whistler's method of etching as well as the life of young artists living abroad in the latter half of the 19th century.