Gemini G.E.L. Online Catalogue Raisonné, National Gallery of Art HOME SEARCH GUIDE ESSAY GLOSSARY CREDITS

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A trade name for a firm board comprised of a polyester core with urea-impregnated surface papers.

Gemini impression. A proof meeting the right to print impression or standard used for the edition that is made for exhibition purposes.

The term used to describe a ceramic piece that has been coated with a liquid that will create a smooth, glossy, and lustrous finish when fired.

A variant of photogravure without use of a camera. The artist draws an image on a plastic film such as Mylar for photographic transfer to the plate.

grit blast finish
The non-reflective and rough effect achieved when the surface of metal is subjected to a high-velocity stream of hard, sharp granules such as sand.

In etching and aquatint, an acid-resistant substance used to protect non-image areas of the plate from the action of acid. See hardground and softground. In mezzotint, it is the deep background produced by roughening the plate surface with roulettes or rockers (tools used to prick multiple, closely spaced indentations into a metal plate).

Graphicstudio USF impression. A proof made for Graphicstudio, University of South Florida that equals the right to print impression or standard used for the edition. This print workshop co-published Robert Rauschenberg's Studies for Chinese Summerhall editions with Gemini G.E.L.


A process whereby gradations of tone in a photograph, drawing, or painting are translated into small dots by being photographed through a glass or contact film screen. The screen simulates the grays produced by commercial printing by reducing tones to a series of dots. These dots vary in size, shape, and spacing in direct proportion to the tones they represent.

An acid-resistant compound that is heated to become liquid, applied to a warm etching plate, and rolled to a thin, even coating. When the coated plate is cooled, a hardground is formed. Etching needles or a variety of other metal instruments can be used to cut through the ground to expose the metal for etching.

handmade paper
Paper that has been formed from pulp using a hand-held mold, matrix, or other device.

Hors de commerce. An impression pulled outside the edition. Not intended for sale, it is designated for the artist's or publisher's use. An entire edition may be printed for this purpose.

hot pressed
A kind of paper surface made by pressing a finished sheet of paper through hot cylinders resulting in a smooth texture.


A printing process in which the image is manually incised or chemically etched into a metal plate using a variety of techniques and tools. The paper receives the ink from the incised recessed marks and not from the top surface of the plate, as in relief printing. For intaglio printing the paper is dampened so that it will be squeezed under printing pressure into the inked recesses of the plate. One of the distinguishing characteristics of this type of printing is that the dried ink impression stands up from the paper in very slight relief. Aquatint, engraving, etching, mezzotint, and drypoint are intaglio techniques.

intaglio construction
A process employed by Richard Serra in his Hreppholar series of 1991 (47.60 - 47.67). The process required that the intaglio plate be deeply etched in order to create texture and therefore retain a large quantity of ink. Next, in order to fulfill the artist's desire to give the prints more mass, paper heavier than the support sheet was cut to the shape of the image area. Edges of this sheet were shaved for a smooth transition. The entire assembly was finally run through the press while printing and lamination were simultaneously taking place.


kinetic sculpture
First used by the constructivists in the early twentieth century, this is a sculpture that incorporates the mechanical or random movement of one or more of its parts. Further popularized in the 1930s through the mobiles of Alexander Calder, the method came to full prominence in the 1950s.


lead relief
See molded relief.

A trade name for polycarbonate sheet.

An etching technique in which it is possible to draw and print in positive rather than in reverse. The process consists of drawing with pen or brush either on an aquatint ground or on a clean copper plate using a solution of sugar and India ink. After the solution is dry, the plate is thinly coated with an acid resist, dried and then immersed in a tray of warm water, which dissolves the sugar-ink mixture, thereby lifting the resist coating off the plate. The exposed drawing is then placed in an acid-bath and prepared for printing.

A commercial method of relief printing used in newsprint illustration for many years. Non-image areas are removed from a metal plate by techniques such as acid etching or cutting with tools. A linecut, which is generally produced photographically, consists of solid areas of black and white rather than halftone dots.

linoleum cut or linocut
A relief print cut in the same manner as a woodcut. The block consists of a thin layer of linoleum mounted on wood. The soft linoleum can be cut in any direction without resistance and has a surface that accepts ink evenly.

A printing process based on the antipathy of grease and water. The printing elements used are limestone and aluminum or zinc plates, grained to varying degrees of roughness. The image can be produced by photochemical and transfer processes, or be drawn using lithographic crayons and pencils, tusche, chalk, and various grease, lacquer, or synthetic materials. The stone is then washed with a solution, thus chemically producing water-receptive non-printing areas and grease-receptive image areas. The drawing grease is cleaned from the printing surface. A roller bearing greasy printing ink is then rolled over the surface, with the ink adhering only to drawn grease-receptive image areas. Finally, paper is laid on top of the stone or plate, which is passed through a lithography press for transfer. Lithography is often described as a surface or planographic printing process in order to distinguish it from the relief and intaglio processes.

lithographic crayon and lithographic pencil
Drawing tools used in lithography to create the grease image on the printing element. These materials, which are manufactured in varying degrees of hardness, are also used in creating hand-drawn screenprint stencils.

lost wax process
A casting technique in which a model made of wax is enclosed in a clay and plaster mold. The wax is melted out through a vent, and molten medal, usually bronze, is poured in to replace it.


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