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.