Hudson County Community College

Charlemagne's Chapel

  • Single Layer Intaglio Print from Copper Inaglio Drilled Holes, and Spit-Bite Line Etching
  • 25 x 19 in
    (63.5 x 48.26 cm)
  • David Ambrose

Thank you to Benjamin J. Dineen III and Dennis C. Hull for the generous donation of this work.

According to the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Program, where this was produced, "Charlemagne's Chapel is a single layer intaglio print from copper, printed in black. This print utilizes line etching, spit bite, and holes drilled in the plate with a power drill, creating a design that allows for high relief of the white dots, reminiscent of Braille. Charlemagne's Chapel is formally based on a painting of the same title. The nesting pattern of luminescent white dots acts as a constellation in the form of a gothic S curve. The thinly etched lines create a smoky atmosphere encircling the deep embossing, creating the impression of an inner light source.

Ambrose’s instinctive response to the copper plate was to pierce it, and he never stopped to consider the printing ramifications. Ambrose simply sought to make a print that was visually alive and arresting. His initial plan was to drip acid through the holes and etch the plate in reverse. However, as he worked with the plate, Ambrose found the stippled pattern so beautiful that working with and around it became more important than working through it. "

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