< Back to collection

Brooklyn Bridge at Night

After many year abroad, Joseph Pennell settled in Brooklyn Heights in 1921. His upper-story apartment afforded magnificent views of New York, its waterways, and its bridges—all of which were regular subjects in his art. Pennell achieved the tenebrous effects of this work with aquatint, an etching technique in which the picture is conceived in tone rather than line. Aquatint uses a plate coated with a porous, grainy ground. During the bath, acid bites the underlying metal around the tiny grains, thus creating a subtly patterned area that prints as a tonal wash. By varying the bath time for different sections of the plate, the artist produces darker or lighter tones.

Brooklyn Museum Logo