A unique image printed from a polished plate, such as glass or metal, which has been painted with a design in ink 

Mark Francis, ‘Untitled’ 1994
Mark Francis
Untitled 1994
© Mark Francis
Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Figure’ 1956
Sir Anthony Caro
Figure 1956
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd
Thérèse Oulton, ‘Untitled’ 1987
Thérèse Oulton
Untitled 1987
© Thérèse Oulton

The image is transferred from the plate onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together, usually using a printing-press.

Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create areas of ight from a solid area of opaque colour. A monotype impression is usually unique, though a second, lighter impression from the painted printing plate can sometimes be made, though it will be a lot lighter and generally inferior in quality.

See also


Anthony Caro teachers' pack

Printable notes including an introduction to the Anthony Caro exhibition, an artist biography, and detailed examination of artwork.

Raised Awareness: Featured artists: Grenville Davey: Curated by Bill Woodrow

Raised Awareness: Featured artists: Grenville Davey: past Tate Modern exhibition

Mira Schendel conference – Day 2 video recordings

Video recording of Tate Modern's past Mira Schendel conference. Day 2 sessions

Prints and drawings: modern and contemporary prints

This strong area of Tate’s collection features the work of several important British and international printmakers, with media from ...

Visit the Prints and Drawings Rooms

Tate Britain’s Prints and Drawings Rooms, on the upper floor of the Clore Gallery provide access to works on ...