Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or

photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate

is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which

had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched,

resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can

reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a


The earliest forms of photogravure were developed

in the 1830s by the original pioneers of photography

itself, who were seeking a means to make prints

that would not fade, by creating photographic images

on plates that could then be etched. The etched plates

could then be printed using a traditional printing press.

These early images were among the first photographs,

even pre-dating daguerreotypes.

Because of its high quality and richness,

photogravure was used for both original fine art

prints and for photo-reproduction of works from

other media such as paintings.