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A method of making an image (on the borderline between painting and printmaking) in which a design is painted (usually in oil colours) on a flat sheet of metal or glass and is then transferred directly to a sheet of paper; the term is also applied to the print so made. With glass plates, pressure has to be applied to the back of the paper by hand; in other cases monotypes may be printed in a press. Strictly speaking, only one print may be taken by this process (hence the term ‘monotype’); in practice the colour on the slab may be reinforced after printing and another one or two impressions taken, although they will differ considerably from the first. Various modifications of the principle are known. G. B. Castiglione is generally credited with the invention of the monotype in the 1640s. William Blake and Edgar Degas are among the artists who have made memorable use of the technique; Maurice Prendergast was a particularly prolific exponent.

Subjects: Art.

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