PRINT DESCRIPTION :
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. When chromolithography is used to reproduce photographs, the term photochrom is frequently used. Chromolithography 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 number of colors present, a chromolithograph could take months to produce. To make what was once referred to as a “chromo”, a lithographer – using a finished painting as a model – 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.
BELOW IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE 1911 ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA Preparing a Chromo Lithograph: For this purpose the proceedings will be much the same as those suggested for the black and tint work, but the preliminary tracing will be done in lithographic ink on tracing transfer paper or scratched on gelatine, the lines being subsequently filled in with transfer ink, and will be used as a "key," a guide stone that will not be printed; and the number of stones necessary will probably be much more numerous. The initial point will be to consider if the work is to have the edition printed from it, or whether it has to be transferred after proving and before printing; generally speaking, large subjects such as diagrams or posters will be worked direct, while Christmas cards, postcards, handbills or labels, will be repeated many times on larger stones. For the former class a much wider range of methods is possible, but many of these are difficult to transfer, and the deterioration that arises makes it desirable to limit their use when transferring is contemplated. Therefore, chalk-rubbed tints, varnish tints, stumping, wash, air brush, are the methods for original work, while work that has to be transferred is limited to ink work in line or stipple on a polished stone with the aid of "mediums" as before described, and ink "spluttered" on to the stone from a tooth brush. It should be mentioned that work done on grained paper is more suitable for retransfer than ordinary chalk work, and so is often very useful when a chalk effect is desired from a polished stone. In proving, opaque colours will be got on first, and it will often be found a good plan to put the black on early, for it gives a good idea of how the work is proceeding, and the strength of the touches (for the black should generally be used sparingly) is often pleasantly softened by the semi-opaque colours which should come on next. It is desirable to pull impressions of each colour on thoroughly white paper, and beyond this in important work there should be a progressive colour pattern that will show how the work looked when two, three or more colours were on, for this may at the finish be invaluable to show where error has crept in, and is in any event an immense aid to the machine minder. In regard to paper, a description made of rag or rag and esparto is most desirable for all work on grained stones, but for work in ink and consequently from polished stone a good coated paper with sufficient "size" in it is frequently desirable; this paper is generally called "chromo" paper.
There is at the present time very little encouragement for the high class of chromo-lithography that was so much in evidence from 1855 to 1875, but there is little doubt that the work could be done equally well by the present-day craftsmen if the demand revived. Belonging to the period mentioned, distinguished examples of chromo-lithography are "Blue Lights," after Turner, by Carrick; "Spanish Peasants" and the Lumley portrait of Shakespeare, by Risdon; "Queen Victoria receiving the Guards," by W. Bunney, after John Gilbert; and the series of chromos after John Leech, produced under the general direction of Vincent Brooks. A small proportion only of the Arundel Society's prints were executed in England, but many reproductions of water-colours after Birket Foster, Richardson, Wainwright and others were executed by Samuel Hodson, James Lewis and others. Perhaps the most consistently good work of modern times has been the reproduction of Pellegrini's and Leslie Ward's drawings for Vanity Fair, which from 1870 to 1906 were with very few exceptions executed by the firm of Vincent Brooks, Day & Son.
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