1950s authentic vintage photogravure by Willy Maywald
Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking process utilizing a carefully etched copper plate made from the original negative/image. Prints are made by pressing suitable paper heavily down upon the inked copper plate which has been intricately etched to varying depths corresponding with the actual tonality of the original negative. This precisely etched plate combined with a fine "honeycomb" screen controls the amount of ink to be transferred to the paper at any given point in direct proportion to the variation of the tone in the original image. The result is a true continuous tone print which combines many qualities of traditional silver based photograph with a tactile feel similar to an etching, engraving, or lithograph. Rich in tonal detail, the photogravure process produces delicately rendered shades for a look which is unique in the world of photographic printmaking. In the early to mid 1900's photogravure was selected for special high quality publishing and portfolio projects, but due to its significant expense and labor, the process is rarely seen today.