20 December 2010 § Leave a comment

With the emergence of lithography and photography in the early nineteenth century, experiments to combine both techniques began in the second half of the century.
A photograph could be made of any ordinary drawing or document and light-sensitive gelatine could be exposed to light trough the negative. The gelatine would harden according the negative and could then be inked and transferred to stone. It was also used with exposed albumine directly on the stone, afterward the stone was inked and only the hardened parts absorbed the ink. Both methods made it very easy to make reproductions of existing prints, drawings and manuscripts and it’s nearly impossible to separate a lithographically from a drawing on transfer paper.
At first only pure black and white where possible, but in the 1880’s it became possible to achieve tonal effects trough cracks in the gelatine. With these so called ink-photo’s, instead of printing it directly from the gelatine as a collotype, it was transferred to stone, losing some of the colloptype quality but with the advantage of the speed and low costs of lithography.


KRÜGER, O. Die lithographischen verfahren und der offset-druck. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1926. pp. 22-77.

WALLIS, A brief history of photographic reproduction processes (up to 1939). Photography’s coming of age. Collotype. Photo-lithography. Lithoprinter 5 (1962): 653-654, 733-737; 6 (1963): 67-70, 105-108.

LINDEN, F. van der. Grafische technieken. De Bilt: Cantecleer, 1970. pp. 197-201.

TWYMAN, M. Breaking the mould: the first hundred years of lithography. London: British Library, 2001.

GASCOIGNE, B. How to identify prints. A complete guide tot manual and mechanical processes from woodcut to inkjet. High Holborn: Thames & Hudson, 2004. 41.



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