Stanley William Hayter’s plaster prints from Atelier 17

Hayter’s fascination with the relief character of the printed burin line led him and other members of Atelier 17 to explore printing techniques that emphasized the sculptural nature of the engraved plate.  As early as 1931, experiments were made at Atelier 17 with “plaster prints,” or actual plaster casts of engraved copper plates.  Hayter learned about this technique of making a print in plaster of Paris from A Treatise on Etching by Maxine Francçois Antoine Lalanne.

This technique had the advantage of demonstrating the relief of the lines more clearly than the lines of an inked print on paper.  The print (on paper) reveals more of the subtleties of engraving such as fine lines and tonal relationships, but the plaster cast emphasized the depth of the engraved lines. 

*Thanks to Joann Moser, Atelier 17: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, (Madison, WI, Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1977)


We are proud to offer Hayter’s Myth of Creation (Black/Moorhead 134), 1940, along with a state-proof impression from the same plate.  Plaster prints are hybrid works that both print making and sculpture.  Other examples can be found in major museum collections and it is a rare opportunity when a superb example like Myth of Creation comes becomes available for sale.

October 25, 2017