Renoir

Going against the flow of interest in print-making in the 19th century, the Impressionists, to which Renoir belonged, were very slow to respond, in spite of the brilliant example set by Manet. Not until 1890 did Auguste Renoir, already famous as a painter at the age of 49, make his first etching and the following year, his first lithograph. He made a total of 59 artist-produced prints in his lifetime -- they were among the finest prints ever produced. Etchings are produced on a copper or zinc plate which has been etched by acids and gouged with a sharp steel tool; lithographs are made by sketching or drawing with crayon on a flatted stone surface. Both techniques rely upon the fact that the untreated portion of the plate resists ink, and upon the ink-transfer to paper.