Engraved or incised work on gemstones, glass, ceramics, stone, or similar material in which the design is sunk beneath the surface, the opposite of cameo and relief. It is the most ancient form of gem engraving; the earliest known Babylonian cylinder seals date from c. 4000 BC. The term intaglio is also used to describe printmaking processes in which the design is cut, scratched, or etched into a printing surface of copper, zinc, or aluminum; ink is then rubbed into the incisions or grooves, the surface is wiped clean, and the paper is embossed into the incised lines with pressure from a roller press. Intaglio processes are the most versatile of printmaking methods, as they can produce a wide range of effects.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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