Chalcography workshop

The Rmn-GP chalcography workshop preserves and operates a collection of more than 14,000 engraved plates, the oldest dating back to the 17th century and most often on copper: "chalcography" is a term taken from the Greek "chalkos", copper, and "graphein", write. Founded during the Revolution, the Chalcography of the Louvre was entrusted with a transmission objective, at a time when the print were the only technical mean to reproduce images, including those of the masterpieces of the young museum. Over time, Chalcography was enriched with new plaques through acquisitions, orders, donations and deposits. Today, it continues to grow thanks to orders of the Louvre from contemporary artists. Custodians of traditional know-how, the printers continue to draw these prints from the original plates on the historic presses of the art workshop now located in Saint-Denis.

What is "intaglio" printing?

The Rmn-GP's chalcography worlshop operates a collection of 14,000 copper engraving (intaglio); it also preserves a hundred wood matrix (xylography) and stone (lithography)
Intaglio refers to all processes of engraving on a metal plate; the chisel and etching are the two engraving techniques most represented in the collection, next to aquatint and rotogravure.
The pattern for printing is inscribed in the printing element (unlike for engraving on the wood or linoleum, where the subject is in relief)
The printing of a copper is a serie of traditional gestures requiring mastery and know-how: setting the press, ink plate, ink wiping and press allowing the transfer of ink on the paper fiber.
The printer must ink the plate again and repeat each operation to obtain a new print.

Want to know more?

Did you know?
The dry seal affixed to each print certifies the membership of our collection, its origin and the quality of its manufacture by our workshop. Last gesture before sending home!

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Contact us

Open Monday to Friday from 9h30 to 12h30 - 14h-17h30
Only on appointment

1 impasse du Pilier (Quai de livraison : 1 rue des Blés) 93217 La Plaine Saint-Denis cedex RER B La Plaine Stade de France Ligne 12 Front populaire


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