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Lithography Print

Lithography is a printing technique which allows for the creation and reproduction of a design drawn in ink or in pencil on a stone (often limestone), using a press. The technique first appeared at the end of the 18th century in Germany and quickly became popular across Europe throughout the 19th century. Although the supports it uses and the way it is used have considerably changed, it is still a commonly used process today. Lithography uses a chemical process which is based on the immiscibility of water and oil. The image is drawn directly onto the stone slate using ink or a wax pencil or ‘transferred’ using transfer paper. The limestone is then moistened and covered with a greasy ink. As the ink is hydrophobic, it only adheres to the lines of the drawing and is repelled by the wet areas. Paper is then applied to the stone slate and pressed.

Over time, this technique was adapted to new supports other than stone, such as zinc and aluminium. In the 19th century in particular, lithography was used for a whole host of different purposes. In newspaper publishing, its quick production rate made it a popular choice for printing news illustrations, where being the first to publish a new story is still a top priority. Lithography is also used for more commercial purposes (stickers, printing sheet music) as well as an artistic form of expression.

We are of course most interested in looking at how this technique has been used artistically. It has two main functions. The first is as an artistic medium; artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec worked with lithography to create several copies of an original piece, whereas other artists use it as a way of copying their works. Highly fashionable at the time, we can still see numerous Art Nouveau and Art Deco inspired lithographs today.

Lithography can produce typographic and artistic creations in a short space of time. It allows artists to reproduce original drawings very easily. It also gives the artist the opportunity to explore an endless number of creative possibilities and explore an infinite array of styles.

In the 20th century, lithography was commonly used to create exhibition posters and by-products which were often created by the artists themselves. Miro and Picasso for example created a large number of posters using this technique.

Today, only artistic lithography remains. In a similar way to photography or engraving, lithographs come in multiple examples. The market value varies depending on the artist’s popularity and the quality of the print, but also depending on the number of copies that exist. It is important for the buyer to know the number attributed to the lithograph and the total number of copies made, as detailed in the ‘certificate of authenticity’ which helps to prevent fraudulent copies.

When looking through the ‘Famous Artists’ category on Artsper, you will find lithographs from some of the 20th century’s biggest names, including (Niki de Saint Phalle, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean Cocteau, Victor Vasarely, Salvador Dali, Zao Wou-Ki...) but also from famous contemporary artists such as Hervé Télémaque, Yan Pein Ming and many others. All of the lithographs sold by Artsper have been carefully chosen. Artsper only selects works which come from limited editions with a maximum of 300 examples or which have been signed by the artist.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Prints

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Takashi Murakami, Me and double-dob, Print

Takashi Murakami

Me and double-dob, 2009
71 x 71 x 1 cm


Man Ray, Double Face, Print

Man Ray

Double Face, 1971
70 x 51 x 0.2 cm


Max Ernst, Composition, Print

Max Ernst

Composition, 1970
32.5 x 25 x 0.1 cm


Salvador Dali, Caballero, Print

Salvador Dali

Caballero, 1968
101.6 x 81.3 cm


Pichi & Avo, Young Bacchus Lefkos, Print

Pichi & Avo

Young Bacchus Lefkos, 2021
70 x 50 cm


Our recommendations Iván Navarro, Sopa de letras, Print

Iván Navarro

Sopa de letras, 2021
70 x 70 cm


Alberto Magnelli, Abstract Composition, Print

Alberto Magnelli

Abstract Composition, 1960
41 x 58 x 0.1 cm


Joan Miró, Mur de la Lune, Print

Joan Miró

Mur de la Lune, 1958
45 x 87 cm


Pietro Morando, Piper, Print

Pietro Morando

Piper, 1960
48.5 x 34 x 0.1 cm


Peter McDonald, Her, Print

Peter McDonald

Her, 2021
42 x 30 cm


Gerardo Dottori, Composition, Print

Gerardo Dottori

Composition, 1970
64 x 47 x 0.1 cm


Jean Cocteau, Les fondateurs de l'Europe, Print

Jean Cocteau

Les fondateurs de l'Europe, 1961
33 x 46 x 0.2 cm


Arman, Violon déstructuré, Print


Violon déstructuré, 1928
65 x 45.5 cm


Valerio Adami, Rohces Brunes. Musicales, Print

Valerio Adami

Rohces Brunes. Musicales, 2020
55 x 31.5 x 1 cm


César Baldaccini, Poule aux oreilles, Print

César Baldaccini

Poule aux oreilles, 1921
65 x 50 x 0.2 cm


Raya Sorkine, Le couple du soleil, Print

Raya Sorkine

Le couple du soleil, 1990
20 x 14 x 1 cm


Bernard Buffet, Bouquet de soucis, Print

Bernard Buffet

Bouquet de soucis, 1976
56 x 75 cm


Mel Ramos, Tyra Tyre, Print

Mel Ramos

Tyra Tyre, 2004
74.9 x 58.4 cm


Jean-Paul Agosti, Opus Magnum, Print

Jean-Paul Agosti

Opus Magnum, 2008
63 x 115 x 0.3 cm


Alex Katz, Night: William Dunas Dance (Pamela) Suite, Print

Alex Katz

Night: William Dunas Dance (Pamela) Suite, 1983
63.5 x 78.7 cm


Georges Braque, La Forêt, Print

Georges Braque

La Forêt, 1963
38 x 28 cm


JonOne, Where There Is the Darkness There Is Light, Print


Where There Is the Darkness There Is Light, 2020
75 x 75 x 1 cm


Théo Tobiasse, Romeo et Juliette, ca, Print

Théo Tobiasse

Romeo et Juliette, ca, 1971
50 x 66 x 0.2 cm


Alëxone, Sans Titre, Print


Sans Titre, 2021
60 x 78 cm


JR, Giants, Miguel, Casa Amarela, Morro da Providência, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2018,, Print


Giants, Miguel, Casa Amarela, Morro da Providência, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2018,, 2019
46 x 36 cm


Madame, L'obscurité ne nuit qu'a celui qui la croit, Print


L'obscurité ne nuit qu'a celui qui la croit, 2021
60.3 x 70 cm


Philippe Noyer, The Monkey, Print

Philippe Noyer

The Monkey, 1969
75.6 x 55.9 cm


Shoïchi Hasegawa, Les deux îles, Print

Shoïchi Hasegawa

Les deux îles, 1929
58 x 75 x 0.3 cm


Moreno Pincas, Couples, Print

Moreno Pincas

Couples, 1990
66 x 50 cm


Michel Delacroix, Chambord, Print

Michel Delacroix

Chambord, 1987
62.9 x 80 cm


Viviane Scemama, 2 femmes, Print

Viviane Scemama

2 femmes, 1995
66 x 50 cm


André Bourrié, Village, Print

André Bourrié

Village, 1936
56 x 70 cm


Peter Alexander, Brooks, Print

Peter Alexander

Brooks, 1988
76.2 x 55.9 cm


Franco Salas Borquez, 9e Prix Denis-Lalanne, Print

Franco Salas Borquez

9e Prix Denis-Lalanne, 2021
45 x 31 x 1 cm


Urbain Huchet, Untitled, Print

Urbain Huchet

Untitled, 1990
76.2 x 54 cm


Ernesto, Cognac Remy Martin, Print


Cognac Remy Martin, 1990
73 x 90.2 cm


Levalet, Figure "Grise mine", Print


Figure "Grise mine", 2014
51 x 37 cm


Our recommendations Egon Schiele, Les amoureux / Lovers - 1909, Print

Egon Schiele

Les amoureux / Lovers - 1909, 2018
54 x 50 cm


Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Pasolini - Dans l'infamie des temps, Print

Ernest Pignon-Ernest

Pasolini - Dans l'infamie des temps, 2016
102.5 x 69 cm


Didier Lourenço, Rocas, Print

Didier Lourenço

Rocas, 2006
40 x 97 cm


Felipe Pantone, Integration System P01 FP377YYF, Print

Felipe Pantone

Integration System P01 FP377YYF, 2019
64 x 64 cm


Our recommendations Henri Matisse, Nu assis dans un fauteuil, une jambe repliée, Print

Henri Matisse

Nu assis dans un fauteuil, une jambe repliée, 1922
38.8 x 25.7 x 0.1 cm


Toctoc, Février 2104, Print


Février 2104, 2020
90 x 70 x 1 cm


Brusk (DMV), Bullet In Your Mouth, Print

Brusk (DMV)

Bullet In Your Mouth, 2019
98 x 76 cm


Antoni Tapies, Untitled - Berlin Suite, Print

Antoni Tapies

Untitled - Berlin Suite, 1974
76 x 56 x 0.1 cm


Louis Toffoli, Jérusalem, Print

Louis Toffoli

Jérusalem, 1996
63 x 90 cm


Gregos, Figure Gregos, Print


Figure Gregos, 2014
51 x 37 cm


Troy Henriksen, Paysage urbain - FRAMED, Print

Troy Henriksen

Paysage urbain - FRAMED, 2012
65 x 50 cm


Our recommendations Gustav Klimt, La Danseuse de Cabaret / Liegender Mädchenakt nach links / Reclining female nude facing left - 1914, Print

Gustav Klimt

La Danseuse de Cabaret / Liegender Mädchenakt nach links / Reclining female nude facing left - 1914, 2012
54 x 69 cm


Romero Britto, The Pink Elephant, Print

Romero Britto

The Pink Elephant, 2017
90 x 72 cm


Franck Noto a.k.a. Zest, Toy, Print

Franck Noto a.k.a. Zest

Toy, 2017
77 x 78 cm


Francis Bacon, Triptych 1987, Print

Francis Bacon

Triptych 1987, 1989
94.5 x 68 x 0.1 cm


Our recommendations Jean-Charles De Castelbajac, Un monde riant, Print

Jean-Charles De Castelbajac

Un monde riant, 2017
89 x 60.5 cm


Sonia Delaunay, Automne, Print

Sonia Delaunay

Automne, 1965
91.3 x 65.9 x 0.2 cm


Our recommendations Alexandre Monteiro (Hopare), Comportement Ultra, Print

Alexandre Monteiro (Hopare)

Comportement Ultra, 2019
73 x 53 x 1 cm


Zevs, Euro liquidated, Print


Euro liquidated, 2016
107 x 66 cm


Fernand Léger, Nature morte à la Coupe de Fruit, Print

Fernand Léger

Nature morte à la Coupe de Fruit, 1950
55 x 75.5 x 0.2 cm


Kan, London, Print


London, 2015
69 x 48 cm


Ardif, Eye of the Tiger Mechanimal, Print


Eye of the Tiger Mechanimal, 2020
75 x 75 x 1 cm


Carlos Cruz-Diez, Color Aditivo Cantarrana 2, Print

Carlos Cruz-Diez

Color Aditivo Cantarrana 2, 2016
70 x 100 cm


Edvard Munch, La Madone / Madonna - 1895, Print

Edvard Munch

La Madone / Madonna - 1895, 2017
76 x 57 cm


Eduardo Arroyo, Enterrement du Mexique, Print

Eduardo Arroyo

Enterrement du Mexique, 2016
15.5 x 21.5 cm


Regina Gimenez, Sin título 1, Print

Regina Gimenez

Sin título 1, 2018
143 x 103 cm


Tilt, Norma Jeane, Print


Norma Jeane, 2015
68.5 x 68.5 cm


60 Artworks on 5103

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