French stone Lithography. Titled « Source Parot» Circa 1928
French stone Lithography. Titled « » by G.Favre,
Circa 1928, Archival linen backing
Lithography was invented in 1798 by Aloys Senefelder. This printing process is based on the principle that oil and water do not mix. An artist begins with a smooth block of limestone ("lithos" = stone). Stone lithography was the first printmaking technology that allowed a traditional artist to work using traditional techniques, and to create prints that could rival an original painting in terms of detail, mood and color variations. Stone lithography was popular for about a century during the 1800s, and is still practiced today by artists and lithography studios.