Beautiful lithographs

Hello to all the art lovers out there.I love to grace my walls with beautiful and interesting pieces of art. Especially the romantic whimsical kind. I noticed in the Designers Guild new book A Certain Style there are some lovely pieces of French Art and Lithographs. It really does finish off that perfect Vintage look.

Lithographs are pieces of art work that have been hand etched on a copper plate, printed onto paper and then hand coloured. Such beautiful pieces that unfortunately are not done today. Its amazing when you look at a beautiful vintage La Mode picture that its all lovingly hand done.

The term lithograph or lithography comes from Greek, meaning 'writing with stone'. It was invented in 1798 by German Alois Senefelder (1771-1834), as a way of printing text, in particular his own plays. Lithography is a popular planographic (surface-printing) technique based on the immiscibility (chemical repulsion of) oil and water. Senefelder patented the process in 1798 and his first publication was a set of drawings by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner (1516-65) in London in 1799. The lithographic process was kept top secret until 1818, when Alois Senefelder published Vollstandinges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (A Complete Course of Lithography). A modern variant is photo-lithography, which employs photographic processes to capture the image on metal plates.

Lithography quickly became popular with artists as a means of reproduction. The artist simply drew a picture on a stone, which was then pressed to reproduce lots of copies on paper. Senefelder continuously improved the process during his lifetime, receiving awards and medals for his work. The first collection of lithographs was published in London in 1803, and included works by American artist Benjamin West (1738-1820), Irish painter James Barry (1741-1806) and Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli (1741-1825). In 1804 the first series of lithographs in Berlin were published, and included a drawing by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). In France the process proved popular with some of the country's most important artists including Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), Theodore Chasseriau (1819-1856), Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) and the aged Goya (1746-1828). By this time the process had been further developed and it was now possible to give both colour and tone to a lithograph. It was discovered that every colour could be produced by overlapping blue, red, yellow and black.

Here are some of my favourites.

You can find these on my website

Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (Scenes from the private and public life of animals), J. Hetzel et Paulin, by J. J. Grandville, Paris, 1842. 34 cm by 30 cm

Original La Mode magazine cover 1888

From a famous series of caricature lithographs showing French middle class. Age unknown, but 19th c. 1827 or later.

Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

Chromolithographs after original drawing  by Foussier, printed by Berthaud.
Published Paris, c1880-1900 in  " L'Ameublement et le Garde-Meuble Reunis "
260 x 355 mm Image: 195 x 285