Definition of intaglio
1 a : an engraving or incised figure in stone or other hard material depressed below the surface so that an impression from the design yields an image in relief b : the art or process of executing intaglios c : printing (as in die stamping and gravure) done from a plate in which the image is sunk below the surface
2 : something (as a gem) carved in intaglio
Did You Know?
Engraved or incised work where the design is sunk into the surface is called intaglio, and is the opposite of cameo, where the design is in relief. Intaglio designs are made on gemstones, glass, ceramics, stone, or similar material. It is the most ancient form of gem engraving: the earliest known Babylonian cylinder seals date from c. 4000 bce. The term intaglio is also used to describe printmaking processes in which the design is cut, scratched, or etched into a printmaking surface of copper, zinc, or aluminum; ink is then rubbed into the incisions or grooves, the surface 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.
Origin and Etymology of intaglio
Italian, from intagliare to engrave, cut, from Medieval Latin intaliare, from Latin in- + Late Latin taliare to cut — more at tailor
First Known Use: 1644
Learn More about intaglio
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about intaglio
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