llithography - In the graphic arts, a method of printing from a prepared flat stone or metal or plastic plate, invented in the late eighteenth century. A drawing is made on the stone or plate with a greasy crayon or tusche, and then washed with water. When ink is applied it sticks to the greasy drawing but runs off (or is resisted by) the wet surface allowing a print — a lithograph — to be made of the drawing. The artist, or other print maker under the artist's supervision, then covers the plate with a sheet of paper and runs both through a press under light pressure. For color lithography separate drawings are made for each color. (pr. le-thah'gruh-fee)


Some example lithographs:



see thumbnail to rightRembrandt Peale (American, 1778-1860), George Washington, 1827, lithograph on chine collé, Worcester Art Museum, MA.



Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879), Ah! tu veux te frotter a la press!! (So! You want to mess with the press!!), 1833, lithograph, 290 x 220 mm.



see thumbnail to leftHonoré Daumier, Tu m'embêtes mon épouse!... v'là une heure que tu me dis qu'il neige; je le vois fichtre bien!..... et dire que j'ai un parapluie..... à la maison! (What do you mean by keeping me waiting for an hour out in the snow without an umbrella?), 1843, image including text 197 x 230 mm (7 3/4 x 9 1/16 inches, paper 9 3/8 x 13 1/16 inches, Michael Delahunt collection. An angry woman is talking as she and her companions walk through falling snow. She holds the arm of a top-hatted man to her left, and the hand of a sailor-hatted boy to her right. The caption translates literally as: "You are beastly to me, husband! You've left me here an hour in the snow. A fine thing to do! And I didn't even have an umbrella. Let's get to the house!" In the catalogue raisonne by Delteil, this is "Delteil #606". It is the fiftieth and last in a series of prints titled Types Parisiens (Parisian types).



see thumbnail to rightHonoré Daumier, Nadar elevant la photographie... (the photographer Nadar up in a baloon), lithograph, caricature, 1862.



see thumbnail to leftJames Abbott McNeil Whistler (American, 1834-1903), Nocturne: The Thames at Battersea, 1878, lithograph, 6 3/4 x 10 1/8 inches (17.1 x 25.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.






see thumbnail to rightHenri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901), Au Moulin-Rouge, 1892, color lithograph, second state, 17 7/8 x 13 1/2 inches (45.4 x 34.3 cm), Cincinnati Art Museum, OH. See Art Nouveau and Post-Impressionism.





see thumbnail to leftHenri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Seated Female Clown, Mlle. Cha-U-Kao, 1896, color lithograph in the crayon manner, 20 3/4 x 15 15/16 inches (52.7 x 40.5 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Mlle Cha-U-Kao was a dancer, acrobat and clown who worked at the Moulin Rouge, the New Circus and in Parisian cabaret. She was one of the artist's favorite models and he depicted her several times. Here she sits in the circus lobby with legs apart and arms folded, a natural and relaxed posture in which it was convenient to relax the muscles. The artist contrasts the black silhouette of the legs and the red of the bench, while the yellow of the fluffy collar adds a touch which sets off the main color scheme.






see thumbnail to rightWassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944), Kleine Welten, IV, 1922, color lithograph, 10 1/4 x 10 inches (26.6 x 25.5 cm), Cincinnati Art Museum, OH. See Bauhaus and Der Blaue Reiter.






see thumbnail to leftEmil Nolde (Germany, 1867-1956), The Three Kings, 1913, color lithograph, 24 1/4 x 21 inches (64.5 x 53.6 cm), Cincinnati Art Museum, OH. See Expressionism.



see thumbnail to rightKäthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1945), Kleines Selbstbildnis (Small Self-Portrait), 1920, lithograph, sheet 32.4 x 24 cm; image 23.5 x 20 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. See Expressionism and self-portrait.



see thumbnail to leftKäthe Kollwitz, Kleines Selbstbildnis nach links (Small Self-Portrait from the left) (2nd version), 1922, lithograph, image 19 x 12.5 cm; sheet 34.6 x 25 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.



see thumbnail to rightKäthe Kollwitz, Selbstbildnis im Profil nach Rechts (Self-Portrait in Profile to the Right), 1938, lithograph, image 47.9 x 29.4 cm; sheet 65.1 x 49.2 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.



Emile Bernard (French, 1868-1941), La Vierge aux Saintes (Virgin and Saints), published by L'Ymagier in 1895, hand-colored lithograph, 615 x 410 mm, (149 k image,) Spencer Museum of Art, KS. Click here for a 73 k image.



see thumbnail to leftMarsden Hartley (American , 1877-1943), Flowers in Goblet, #3, 1923, lithograph, 43 x 30.2 cm (image); 65 x 49.9 cm (sheet) inches, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.






see thumbnail to rightGeorge Bellows (American, 1882-1925), The Drunk, c. 1924, lithograph, second state, printed by Bolton Brown, published as an illustration for Mabel Potter Daggett, "Why We Prohibit," in Good Houskeeping, May 1924, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.






see thumbnail to leftDiego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957), Niño con Taco, 1932, lithograph, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. See Mexican art.




see thumbnail to rightThomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), Jesse James, 1936, lithograph on wove paper, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH. See American Scene.



Grant Wood (American, 1892-1942), Sultry Night, 1937, lithograph, image 23 x 29.9 cm; sheet 29 x 37.8 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. See nude.



Joseph Hirsch (American, 1910-1981), Lunch Hour, 1942, lithograph, printed by George Miller, distributed by Associated American Artists. Joseph Hirsch's father, a noted Philadelphia surgeon, posed for the sleeping figure in Lunch Hour, which the artist then transformed into a portrait of an African American youth. In 1944 the Library of Congress awarded this print the Second Purchase Prize, formerly known as the Pennell Prize.




see thumbnail to leftAlfred Manessier (French, 1911-1993), Early Spring, 1966, lithograph on paper, image: 21.7 x 22.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See abstraction.




see thumbnail to rightCharles Wilbert White (American, 1918-1979), Untitled, 1970, lithograph (stone) in brown on uncalendered Rives paper, sheet: 63.6 x 94 cm (24 x 37 inches), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC . See African American art and social realism.



see thumbnail to leftGeorge Tooker (American, 1920-), Self-Portrait, no date, lithograph, image 21.7 x 19.7 cm; sheet 45.8 x 35.5 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.




Jasper Johns (American, 1930-), Ale Cans, 1964, lithograph, edition: 31, sheet: 22 7/8 x 17 3/4 inches (58.1 x 45.1 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. Publisher: Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York. See Pop Art.




see thumbnail to rightDaniel Spoerri (Swiss, 1930-), Daniel Isaac Spoerri-Feinstein, 1977, lithograph on paper, 89.0 x 59.6 cm, Tate Gallery, London. The subject: the pages of the artist's well-used passport. See Fluxus and self-portrait.




see thumbnail to leftJames Rosenquist (American, 1933-), Pulling out, 1972, color lithograph, 26/39, 65 cm x 76.5 cm, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran. Rosenquist pictures a claw hammer pulling nails that he's rendered in the primary colors. See Pop Art.


César A. Martínez (American, 1944-), El pantalón rosa (The Pink Pants), 1992, lithograph, second state, no. 45/124, 35 x 22 1/2 inches, Collection of Gary D. Keller Cárdenas.


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Also see chromolithography, ox gall, and zincography.







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