The Unfinished Print: 3 June to 7 October 2001 Back to Text Back to Image Index

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Italian, 1609 or before-1664
David with the Head of Goliath, c. 1655
monotype in oil pigment
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Andrew W. Mellon Fund 1977.30.1

The monotype is perhaps the most experimental and intriguing offshoot of traditional printmaking. Ink is applied to a flat surface (traditionally a copperplate), typically by brushing it on or covering the entire plate and then wiping or daubing it away to create a design. While still damp the plate is run through a press, sometimes yielding two or three impressions. Given the areas of indistinctness this is probably a second (so-called cognate) impression. It is not strictly an unfinished image, but the ghost of a finished one.

Copyright ©2001 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.