Art review: At the National Gallery of Art, Aquatint: from its origins to Goya? delves into the history and expressive power of a printmaking process.

Like any new technology, aquatint, in its early days, embraced an idealism, found in prints depicting fantasies of classical antiquity. But Goya and De Pian took it beyond that, exposing injustices hidden in public view – and often in the conscious mind – with gnawing nihilism. Their subjects were the outcasts and the depraved. Paradoxically, because it tends towards obscurity, aquatint has the power for them to bring to light the darkest truths of reality.

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