Mexican Calendar Chromo: Girl with her Horse and her Collie. 12″ x 10″
Price on request.
Chromolithography is a method for making multi-colour prints. This type of colour printing stemmed from the process of lithography, and it includes all types of lithography that are printed in colour. Chromolithography became the most successful of several methods of colour printing developed by the 19th century. The initial technique involved the use of multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, and was still extremely expensive when done for the best quality results. Cheaper images, like advertisements, relied heavily on an initial black print (not always a lithograph), on which colours were then overprinted. Lithographers sought to find a way to print on flat surfaces with the use of chemicals instead of relief or intaglio printing. Chromolithography became the most successful of several methods of colour printing developed by the 19th century. Cheaper images, like advertisements, relied heavily on an initial black print (not always a lithograph), on which colours were then overprinted. To make an expensive reproduction print as what was once referred to as a “’chromo’”, a lithographer, with a finished painting in front of him, gradually created and corrected the many stones using proofs to look as much as possible like the painting in front of him, sometimes using dozens of layers. Production costs were only low if the chromolithographs were cheaply produced, but top-quality chromos were costly to produce because of the necessary months of work and the thousands of dollars worth of equipment that had to be used. Although chromos could be mass produced, it took about three months to draw colors onto the stones and another five months to print a thousand copies. Chromolithographs became so popular in American culture that the era has been labeled as “chromo civilization”. Over time, during the Victorian era, chromolithographs populated children’s and fine arts publications, as well as advertising art, in trade cards, labels, and posters. They were also once used for advertisements, popular prints, and medical or scientific books.