Steel engraving

after Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Inverness’ 1834–6
after Joseph Mallord William Turner
Inverness 1834–6

Up until the nineteenth century, engraved and etched images had usually been cut and printed from copper plates. However, during the 1820s copper was replaced by steel for many types of image as it was more durable and allowed for the cutting of much finer lines which would have quickly worn down on a copper plate. Books illustrated with steel plates after artists such as JMW Turner were enormously popular during this period.