Lithography as an Artistic
At the beginning of the
nineteenth century lithography was primarily used for the production of
cheap copies of drawings and paintings.
"Girl with Flowers", Lithography by Angel
At the beginning of the nineteenth century lithography was primarily
used for the production of cheap copies of drawings and paintings.
Around 1825 three French artists (Ingres, Géricault, and Delacroix) saw
lithography as way to cut out the middle man needed for the production
of copper and wood-block engravings. With lithography they no longer
needed draughtsman to transfer images onto a plate or engravers to
engrave the plates. The artist could avoid the middleman by creating
their images directly onto the lithographic material. The lithographic
image that was created was almost identical to the original because
there were not alternations caused by reworking or the transfer to
another medium. Lithography also gave the artist of the time the
greatest color palate from black to white.
There were many exceptional artists (mostly French) who created using
lithography. Examples of great work abound, including “The Bulls of
Bordeaux” by Goya in 1828, Goethe's Faust, and Delacroix's
illustrations. Other notable artists to use this medium include Manet,
Daumier, Prud'hon, and Cezanne.
This was the first time were artists were able to send out duplications
of their exact work. Lithography made it possible to create
reproductions without the distortions that were inevitably created
through the use of a middle man.
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