Manière noire literally means “black manner,” but artistically it’s the term for an aquatint made by scratching the plate with a wire brush, or another similar device, with the aim of achieving an overall texture. This work by Picasso was executed in 1968, and is print 23 of 50. The defining characteristic of this work is the unusual black border on the left-third. In the rest of the work you’ll find a series of figures with varying degrees of detail, as if Picasso is showing what is possible with the manière noire technique. In the center you’ll find a horse-drawn coach. This print is in very good condition and will only need to be deacidified. A new custom frame will be made which will show the full size of the picture, and then museum glass will cover it which is going to greatly help a work like this that is easily obscured by reflected light.
Manière noire is believed to have started in 1642 by an German amateur engraver, Ludwig von Siegen, and it is known for being the first printing process to allow gray levels without resorting to hatching or dotted lines.