News-Antique.com - Dec 11,2007 - Chromolithography is a method for making multi-color prints. This type of color printing stemmed from the process of lithography, and it includes all types of lithography that are printed in color.
It replaced coloring prints by hand, and eventually served as a replica of a real painting. Lithographers sought to find a way to print on flat surfaces with the use of chemicals instead of relief or intaglio printing.
Depending on the amount of colors present, a chromolithograph could take months to produce.
To make what was once referred to as a “chromo”, a lithographer, with a finished painting in front of him, gradually built and corrected the print to look as much as possible like the painting in front of him, sometimes using dozens of layers.
The process can be very time consuming and cumbersome contingent upon the skill of the lithographer.
Most of our items are from Brockhaus or Meyers in Germany.
The margins are wider than the images suggest and they generally are in fine to very fine condition.
The technique for using color in printing was invented in 1796 in Germany. Considering the fact that it stemmed from lithography, there have been debates over whether chromolithography was created by Alois Senefelder, the same person who came up with printing by way of lithography.
Senefelder introduced colored lithography in his 1818 Vollstaendiges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (A Complete Course of Lithography), and in the work, Senefelder told of his plans to print using color and he also explained the colors he wished to be able to print someday. Although Senefelder recorded ideas on chromolithography, it turns out that other countries besides Germany, such as France and England, were also heavily involved in trying to find a new way to print in color. Godefroy Engelmann of Mulhouse proved to be one of the few searching for ways to produce colored printed images when he was awarded his patent on chromolithography in July of 1837.
Even after Engelmann received his award, disputes over whether chromolithography was already being used continued to rise. Some sources point to the idea that chromolithography was already being used in areas of printing such as the production of playing cards