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A photographic method of printmaking, invented in the mid-19th century in France, which was used mainly for landscape compositions by Corot, Daubigny, and members of the Barbizon School. It consisted of producing an image on light-sensitive photographic paper by exposing the paper to light which had passed through a glass plate. There were two different techniques of applying the design. One was essentially linear, whereby a whitened glass plate was laid on a black cloth and the design was scratched on to it. The black lines which appeared as a result of the scratching and partial exposure of the black cloth underneath corresponded exactly with the black lines that would be produced when the scratched plate was taken away from the cloth and laid face down in the sunlight over the light-sensitive paper. The other, rarer, method was a tonal one and involved building up, with a brush, layers of emulsion paint on the glass plate before it was placed over the paper for exposure. The thinner the paint, the more light would pass through and the darker that part of the image would print, and vice versa. Cliché-verre was taken up again in America in the 1970s.

Subjects: Art.

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