Stone Lithograph

From 1798 the invention of lithography saw the development of printing using a Planographic technique; working on the principal of the antipathy of oil for water.

An image was created directly on the surface, in reverse, of a slightly roughened lime stone or plate using a greasy crayon or tusche, a liquid ink. It was then altered or etched by the use of chemicals, a solution of nitric acid and gum arabic, then washed with water which was repelled by the greasy image; when printing ink was rolled over the surface of the stone it adhered only to the greasy areas, the film of water insuring that the other areas remained blank orstopped out and would therefore print white.

The inked stone was placed upwards on a flatbed press, covered with a dampened sheet of paper and run through the press, the printed image being reversed.

The printed lines of the lithograph being neither in relief or intaglio, but in a flat even tone.

The most common form of stone lithogaphy became known as chalk stone.


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