Dan Mitra etchings - "Eagle Feather" & "Peace Pipe"
Dan Mitra -Etchings - sold as a PAIR. as framed, appx 14" x 8" each
ABOUT DAN MITRA - Hand Colored Etching
May, 31, 1951 - Before coming to the U.S. from Romania, Dan Mitra worked as a graphic designer for both motion pictures and the theater. His graphic works were featured in various magazines, and he won several art competitions in Italy.
Mitra first began to explore the field of etching after entering the U.S. He approaches these from a decorative viewpoint. He succeeds in creating pleasing additions to any interior by his distinctively fine line, unflawed technique and attention to subtle detail.
Each of Dan’s works is “original” as they are colored by hand. No two are ever exactly the same. In addition, he built his etching press himself and is extremely detailed in his work. For many years Dan was under contract to Pier One to do flowers, fish and birds, along with many Oriental influenced subjects - Geisha women; temples and the like.
ETCHING PROCESS - The process required to produce these original etchings has changed little since Rembrandt’s day. It’s most salient feature is the fine line quality, a trademark unique to the medium.
An acid resistant ground is spread over a metal plate. The image is carefully drawn through this ground with a fine point of a diamond needle. Special care must be taken when considering the composition, because it is drawn in reverse.
The plate may be returned to the acid as many times as necessary to give a wide variety of tonal areas. Each time new changes are made, the surface must be recoated with asphaltum, completely stopping the previous lines to avoid a breaking down of the grooves.
When the plate is immersed in a nitric acid bath, only those areas where the ground has been removed are exposed to the corrosive action. These lines are eaten (etched) for various lengths of time to create different line depths, which will produce contrasting shades of light and dark to enhance the feeling of space.
When the etching process is finished, the ground is removed and the plate is inked and wiped clean. The lines below the surface hold ink and will produce the image. A dampened paper is then placed over the inked plate, and the two are run through the press simultaneously. The press is turned by hand, and only one print is produced at a time. The process is strictly manual and requires great skill and care.
If color is to be applied, as it is in all of Dan Mitra’s works, a water color medium always gives subtler shades and tones of color than could be created using the mechanical process developed later and printing using several plates rather than just the one.
His Native American subjects are the one's I find exquisite and collectable. They are much harder to find, and do command some premium pricing. This is the last small etchings I have available from Dan.
I do have two larger war bonnets - appx 24 x 36 framed - that are just outstanding (and have been in my collection for a number of years now - they are "probably" for sale if someone really wanted them as I downsize.