24.02.2015 – 31.05.2015

Main Building

Print Techniques. Lithography

01.06.2017 – 13.08.2017

Main Building

The exhibition takes place on the White Floor.

The lithography technique (from the Greek words “lithos” – “stone” and “grapho” – “write” or “draw”) was invented by Alois Senefelder (Germany) around 1796. He was not a professional printmaker — he just tried to invent a method of quick reproduction of sheet music, which was one of his hobbies. The invention of the new technique changed his life: Senefelder opened the first lithographic studio in Munich in 1806 and published the first-ever manual on lithography, which became a guide for many masters of the 19th century, in 1818. While working on the new technology, Senefelder proceeded from the fact that water does not interact with grease. Limestone with a mechanically evened surface was used for lithography. An artist then drew on it with a special grease pencil or paint using a pen or a brush. The limestone was exposed to a mixture of acid and gum arabic, which only etched the parts of the surface not covered with the grease. Then printing ink was applied, which only gathered on the contours of the drawing and did not stick to the parts affected by the liquid solution. The next step was the printing itself.

The new method made it possible to produce colored lithographs, or chromolithographs. They were printed from several plates, and every plate reproduced a certain color.

The lithography technique gained wide acceptance thanks to the ability to print many copies and to the simplicity of the method, which provided an artist great freedom in the process of drawing on plates. Many renowned masters of the 19th and the 20th centuries worked using this method, including Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault, Honoré Daumier, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Oskar Kokoschka, Edvard Munch, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Lev Kropivnitsky.

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