Engraving is an art form that flourished in the 17th century. It is made in one of two ways: either by incising the image into a surface, and the incised line (or sunken area) holds the ink. This process is referred to as intaglio. It is the direct opposite of the other method, relief printing.
Relief print is a printmaking process where protruding surface faces of the matrix (printing plate or block) are inked; recessed areas are ink free. Printing the image is therefore a relatively simple matter of inking the face of the matrix and bringing it in firm contact with the paper.
A printing-press may not be needed as the back of the paper can be rubbed or pressed by hand with a simple tool such as a brayer or roller.
The matrix in relief printing is classically created by starting with a flat original surface, and then removing (e.g., by carving) away areas intended to print white. The remaining areas of the original surface receive the ink.
The relief family of techniques includes woodcut, metalcut, wood engraving, relief etching, linocut, and some types of collography.
This large, original engraving of the pope is in excellent condition.
Pope Celestine V, who abdicated after only serving for five months as pope, was a very holy man who was canonized in 1313 by Pope Clement V. Until the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013, Celestine was the last pope to have resigned from his office.