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What is a Lithograph?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 23, 2024
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A lithograph is a type of printing process during which original works of art can be printed and reproduced; the final product is also known as a lithograph, which is an authorized copy of an original work created by an artist or other skilled craftsmen. The printing process for creating lithographs is different from other traditional methods, mainly because it does not require the print-maker to first etch the image into metal plates. Prints can be made of original works of art, first created on the stone table or metal plate, or images from paintings or drawings can be duplicated with this method. If the print quality of a lithograph is excellent and the production numbers are low, it may have significant value in the art world.

The Printing Process

Perhaps the biggest advantage of lithography is that it does not require the printmaker to etch an image into metal plates, as some other reproduction methods do; neither is it necessary to physically carve out the image on blocks of wood or other soft material. Instead, an artist uses a set of greasy crayons or pencils to draw a mirrored image of the artwork, usually onto a smooth stone tablet or metal plate. While this can take less time than etching the image into metal, it is still the most time-consuming part of lithography. If the final image has multiple colors, it may be necessary to make separate stones or plates for each.

After the image has been recreated to the satisfaction of the original artist or other authority, it is ready to be turned into a piece of art. To make a hand lithograph, the drawing is first treated with a chemical to set the image. Lithography hinges on the principle that oil and water cannot mix; based on this principle, an oil-based variety of ink is applied directly to the drawing, and the ink immediately bonds with the equally greasy crayon lines. Water is then wiped onto the unpainted areas to discourage the ink from smearing. A sheet of paper, preferably one with a high cotton content, is then placed over the entire plate.

The inked stone or plate and the paper are placed in a press and light pressure is used to transfer some of the ink. If the original image was a monochrome pen and ink drawing, this would be the only press run necessary; color lithographs of an elaborate Van Gogh painting, however, might require several different runs to produce each different color ink. The same paper would be placed precisely over the inked plates, eventually creating a detailed image.

Reproduced Art

Since the process for creating lithographs can be just as time-consuming and detailed as an original painting, printing runs are often kept low to preserve value. As a result, a signed lithograph may have a set of numbers expressed as a fraction on one corner such as 12/300. This means that the lithograph was the 12th one produced in a series limited to 300 prints. Some famous artists, notably Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, were more than willing to authorize or create numerous lithographs during their lifetimes; this has created some confusion, however, as it can be difficult to tell which prints are authorized and which are not. Others are not always eager to see their work reproduced on a commercial scale, making it more difficult to find authorized lithographs of their work.

Other Methods of Duplicating Art

In addition to the hand-printing method, lithographs can also be made using an offset printing process. This method is well suited for high-volume printing work, and typically involves plates made of aluminum or mylar rather than stone. After the artwork is created, a photographic negative is made and transferred to a printing plate; a "blanket" made of rubber is then created from the plate, and this is what is used to print the final product. Although very high quality reproductions can be made from offset lithography, the images are not usually as rich.

There are other ways of duplicating original artwork for the commercial market, so it should not generally be assumed that a print in an art store is indeed a lithograph. A giclee is a high-quality artwork produced with a special type of inkjet printer. A silkscreen or serigraph is a hand-stencil method that uses a fabric screen for printing; this type of printing can be relatively fast, and many colors can be used. When the reproduction method is not apparent, it may be best to ask the proprietor to confirm the printing method. In some cases, a signed lithograph may have more collectible value than reproductions made with other methods, but the print quality of lithographs can vary.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick , Writer
As a frequent contributor to Musical Expert, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By mare1953 — On Jun 05, 2018

I have a picture where in the bottom right hand corner it says is by A Bierstadt. Under it, it says G P 1569 or 1567, then under it, it says Litho

I N .It is Bierstadt. I think it is a Yosemite scene. Wondering if it is worth anything.

By anon995636 — On May 16, 2016

I have a lithograph of Robert Spencer, Herder's View p. 144. just wandering if it is worth anything. It's in good shape.

By anon984052 — On Jan 05, 2015

I have a lithograph of Napoleon and Son, signed in what looks like pencil Lafosse encircled. I am assuming this is Alolphe Lafosse It has a few slight tears and some discoloration. I am wondering if it is worth the cost to get it restored or should I sell it as is to a collector? Is it of any value in its present condition?

By anon955565 — On Jun 08, 2014

I have a picture and it says 47/1 on the bottom. I was wondering what that means?

By anon356126 — On Nov 22, 2013

I have four lithographs done by Frederic Remington. I cannot seem to find anything on lithographs by him. Are they worth anything? My mother has had them since about 1958, but I am not sure when they were done.

By anon314594 — On Jan 18, 2013

Trained Fine Art appraisers receive upwards of $150 per hour, with examination, research and reporting taking a minimum of four hours. Proper appraisal is not free.

By anon266900 — On May 08, 2012

I have two pics signed on the right side corp a fox 1952 and litho in usa (on the left side) 1805.

Both are of a girl holding a small dog, and a top hat is at the bottom of the pic. They are not framed. Any info on the value? Appreciate it.

By Chanlyn — On May 05, 2012

I have taken some photos and had them put onto a canvas and painted over the top of the photo so it looks like a painting. Would this be called lithograph? If not, what would this type of painting be called?

By anon256190 — On Mar 20, 2012

I have 12 water color bullfighting scenes signed by Joaquin Terruella. There is an enbossing 1" under the pictures. These pictures are 5"x 6 3/4". I have seen three of these pictures in an auction but know nothing else. Are these lithographs. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

By anon248630 — On Feb 18, 2012

I am an oil painter, looking to get a copy (up to scale) of my oil painting. Would a lithograph work for this? Would they just scan the painting, or do I have to take a picture of it? Please let me know ASAP. Thank you so much!

By anon235769 — On Dec 19, 2011

I have a set of 19 signed prints dating back to the late 1800's

The artists were Atelier Bachwitz and B. Finkelstein and Frere. Some were just signed Le Chic.

I just retired and would like to sell them as a set or by the piece.

By spikes1 — On Oct 16, 2011

I have two paintings that have D.A.C. N.Y. No.7 and No.19 in the bottom left corner and Litho in U.S.A in the bottom right. Does any one have any idea where I could find information about these paintings?

By anon208842 — On Aug 24, 2011

I have an engraved lithograph stone from the 1876 US Centennial in Philadelphia. In the corner of the stone is apparently the engravers signature ("f"). Can anyone identify the engraver? The stone contains US Centennial Seals,etc.

What is the value and who was the engraver?

By anon207913 — On Aug 21, 2011

Would the litho The Shire Hall series 2 No 7 by Lynton Lamb by valuable?

By glandy — On Aug 09, 2011

I have a Picasso '25 that I need to identify. It is three men dressed in ballet/dance clothes, one is seated on a bench two are standing. It is done in thin white lines on thick black paper. Any advice on the name of the work and if it is a print or what?

By anon199396 — On Jul 23, 2011

I have a litho painting signed by Alexis M. Podchernikoff with a GP 5589 and Litho in usa with L co in lower right hand corner. It's titled on the back with a separate pc of paper the title as "After the Rain" purchased in 1953. Can anyone tell me anything about this piece?

By anon195972 — On Jul 13, 2011

I have a lithoprint by pablo picasso from 1934 in a frame hand crafted by arturo. the frame is numbered. Can anyone tell me if it is of any worth. I found it at a flea market.

By RobinR — On Apr 11, 2011

I have a wooden Litho U.S.A. of a little girl/boy with white puffed sleeves, and a little cap holding a handmade broom. It is not signed, except for the Litho U.S.A. in the bottom right corner. It weighs over 10 pounds, and has a hand carved scalloped border. It is all one piece, and is approximately 20" x 24". Is this worth anything? Thank you.

By anon166015 — On Apr 06, 2011

I have a litho of jesus being hung on the cross.

it is titled "jesus is stripped of his garments."

i think it came from an old mission in New Mexico.

anyone know anything about this? the date says 1856.

By anon159979 — On Mar 14, 2011

If you want to know if it's a real lithograph, you need to take it to an expert. They will look at it with a strong magnifying glass to inspect the ink deposited on the paper. If the ink particles are quite uniformly dispersed in perfect little tiny circles, it is likely a computer print out.

If the particles are more organic looking, a little uneven in shape and dispersal, suggesting the drawing material sitting on a smooth stone surface, it is likely a lithograph. Still, it really needs to be examined by a trained eye.

By anon159781 — On Mar 13, 2011

There is a tremendous misunderstanding of lithography. A litho(stone)graph(writing) is a hands-on way of producing an art piece.

An offset lithograph is a poster. The two are not the same

By anon157639 — On Mar 03, 2011

I have a lithograph, signed and numbered, the signature is Ivel Weihmuller, a bullfighting scene in an arena. I haven't had luck finding any other prints of this work. Can anyone help, or suggest something.

By sfguybryan — On Feb 04, 2011

I have a Picasso lithograph signed in pencil and reads: "Montmartre - lithographie et gravure" and "To Commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Eiffel Tower". Does anyone know what this might be worth?

By calidreamz — On Jan 17, 2011

i have two pictures by two different artists. The names are hard to read. I think one is J.B Ladbrute Gp2725. the other is Chundi Gp 2211. i also have one that has Lyman Cary Powell. any info would be greatly appreciated. thank you

By sukisluce — On Dec 24, 2010

Not sure if last post came up so here goes again. I have a nicely framed "Blue Boy" Picasso with acetate backing that I acquired with a camper full of valuables for auction. How do I know if it is a lithograph? I have had it now for many years and not sure if I should add it to my insured articles. Who should I have look at it. Thank you ever so much.

By anon121729 — On Oct 25, 2010

i have 9 litho usa hit and miss,sheer beauty, thar she blows, switch hitch, catch on, caught in the draft, a pleasing discovery, hold that line, a peek-a-knees. we know they are very old but we have no idea what they are worth.

By foxyroxy — On Oct 14, 2010

photograph-scie (some letters missing) berlin gesellsc pic dated 1799 on back. Watermill and beautiful scenery. Can anyone give me some information on this please?

By anon117935 — On Oct 12, 2010

I have a Picasso lithograph of King Kagpha, bought by someone who had a family that purchased/collected much art pieces back in the day. There is no hand signature, aside from the sign on the lithographed piece itself. Is it worth anything?

By anon114525 — On Sep 29, 2010

I have acquired a Salvador Dali signed lithograph, which is in mint condition. The name of the piece is "cosmic rays resuscitating the soft watches." I would like to sell the piece since I have had back surgery and am disabled.

By anon110578 — On Sep 12, 2010

I was poking through my grandmother's attic this weekend, she lives in an house that was built back in the 1700's - it's an old farmhouse in Quakertown Pennsylvania. In a back corner, under some floorboards I found some old papers. One of them was stamped lithograph with the name Benjamin Franklin. Did Ben Franklin ever print lithographs? I want to know if it's real or not.

By anon109868 — On Sep 09, 2010

I found an old lithograph of an old farm house lots of grays with a lady feeding chicks, markings in right hand corner say gp 3627, litho in USA with a circled G. can anyone tell me anything about it?

By anon104252 — On Aug 15, 2010

I have an old lithograph by v.adam of melberts View in Albany/House of the first Dutch Governors. Where can I go to research a value?

By jwhelchel — On Aug 10, 2010

I have a lithograph of Eduoard Cortes "Quai Du Louvre, Paris" lithographed by Times Mirror Press. Does it have any value?

By anon102227 — On Aug 06, 2010

I have a lithograph of Pierre-Auguste Renoir,

Portrait of the Actress Jeanne Samary, 1877. The original oil painting is in The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. It appears to be on a canvas looking paper and seems aged. It has Renoir's printed signature on the upper left hand corner of the lithograph. On the back it declares the name of the portrait and the artist. It also has a very small trade mark with the numbers 122. On the lower left side there are also numbers 99,134,07,00. I would like some information on this portrait and if it would or does have any value.

By anon101206 — On Aug 02, 2010

I have a Spiderman vs Green Goblin Lithograph. It is 779/999. It is also autographed by Alex Ross and John Romita Sr. I have the certificate of authenticity. How do I know what it is worth?

By anon99433 — On Jul 26, 2010

Thank you for explaining it so simply. I appreciate it.

By anon96753 — On Jul 16, 2010

I have a lithograph of Shore to Shore by Clarence M. Dobell. Is has No. 4 on it. It was engraved by F.T. Stuart. Is it worth anything? My bird pooed on it. How do I clean it off? Please, someone let me know. FLP

By anon92441 — On Jun 28, 2010

I have a lithograph by Jean-Baptise Greuze 1895: Bonaparte, Lieutenant DArtillerie. How can I find out the value?

By anon89741 — On Jun 12, 2010

I have about a hundred old prints that I purchased about 20 years ago at a flea market. They each have a number on the back with information about the artist and the art -- Below is a sample:





After The Bath

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio

followed by information about the artist and the painting. Would these have more value than the new prints?

By anon88552 — On Jun 05, 2010

how can i find out if the amado pena lithographs and posters that we own are worth anything? i can't find all of them on the web, making me think that perhaps they are retired. how can we cash in on them if they're worth anything?

By anon85545 — On May 20, 2010

I recently came across a lithograph that had the following information in the lower right hand corner - copr.A.Fox - 1959. On the back is Lithoin U.S.A. Newark, NJ #7645. Does anyone know anything about this?

By anon82883 — On May 07, 2010

I have a set of six full color prints (approx 14"x20") of Hummingbirds by John Gould. They are probably 60 years old. The cover page describes them as "a portfolio of six magnificent color print reproduced with life-like fidelity to the rare originals by the famous 19th century ornithologist-artist, John Gould". Would these be considered lithographs or prints. Do you know how to value them?

By anon77843 — On Apr 15, 2010

I have a lithograph signed by "Kelsey" with a title of "Woodland Retreat", Cat. no. 334. Would be interested in anything anyone can tell me about it. Thanks.

By anon74019 — On Mar 30, 2010

I have a lithograph of what appears to be Annie Oakley twirling a rope about her head. It's dated 1898. I can't find an artist name on it and I'm curious as to its value if any. pollydog

By anon69196 — On Mar 06, 2010

My grandmother has just recently died, and she has left behind loads of old things, including approximately a 2x3ft painting of a mother and three children in an old poor-styled home. I have just recently seen a print in the bottom right corner that says "LITHO IN U.S.A. ...". Can anybody tell me what this means?

By anon68993 — On Mar 05, 2010

I have a F Grayson Sayre Litho of what looks to be Mt. Shasta in California it has a code or something in the lower left corner saying "G.P. 2355" and i was wondering what that means.

By anon68935 — On Mar 05, 2010

I have Henry Moore Shelter drawing lithographs by the artist himself. I want to find out the best way to get them evaluated in order to maintain privacy levels. Kindly advise please at your earliest.

By anon67916 — On Feb 27, 2010

I own a print of Marc Chagall: 39357- Le Grand Cirque 1956 C by A.D.A.G.P. & BRAUNET CIE Printed In France size 30" x 16" Colors are blue, green, yellow and red (all very saturated). Print is very lovely and I have not seen at any site sold. What value may it have?

By anon67352 — On Feb 24, 2010

I have a piece of art by Red Skelton called the Clown's Clown, it is Carol Burnett (in color). I'm not sure what it is. It is signed by Red Skelton and is on paper (not an oil painting). I can't find any number on it but I purchased it many years ago from the Red Skelton foundation along with another of Freddie the Freeloader which was given to a friend as a gift. Does any one have any idea where I could find information about the value?

By anon61883 — On Jan 23, 2010

i've got an alberto giacometti lithograph!

By anon61513 — On Jan 20, 2010

I know nothing about Lithographs, but here goes: I found this box at a sale, it's like a storage box, with glass covering the Lithographs, there are six calendar (overlays). everything is in French, I could read the months: February, April, June, August, October and December.

When you open it, on the left side is (the only thing I can read) six lithographies originales 77/150....on the right side is the name Guiramand, 1926. I'm assuming the left is what's in the box and the right is about the artist.

On top of the Lithographs is a forward by Ichiro Hattori. All six are signed, in pencil, by Guiramand. The colors are so beautiful if they are not worth anything I will take the calendars off and frame them. I've had them about six years, just ran across them again today.

It says epson on the paper. Any suggestions?

By anon60611 — On Jan 14, 2010

I have a pair of stone hand painted lithographs, floral antique by A. Harrison. What are they worth?

By anon60346 — On Jan 13, 2010

I have a colored lithograph stone signed Picasso La Maternite. 16101/150. I am unsure of the numbers. Any ideas?

By anon56622 — On Dec 16, 2009

I have a lithograph of a painting by the French painter, Maurice Utrillo. I wonder if it is valuable? Would love to know how to find out.

By anon56381 — On Dec 14, 2009

I have photos and actual acrylic art that my dad did. Is there any way to have it reproduced? Who could do it?

Please help me, my sister and others would like it and maybe my dad could sell some. Thank you. --Tracy

By anon55868 — On Dec 10, 2009

i really thought that was outstanding.

By anon53574 — On Nov 22, 2009

I have a Robert Spencer Litho in U.S.A. and signed on bottom right. On bottom left there is a "c" with a circle around it 1959 D.A.C., N.Y. It is very nicely framed and in excellent shape well cared for.

Are lithos worth anything? I have searched everywhere for this picture and have not found it anywhere. Mountains are in the background--and a little log cabin right front. wkbr

By anon51255 — On Nov 04, 2009

I have a signed and numbered dali lithograph of a portion of a painting. The lithograph is entitled "sleeping hound" is a portion of the original Dalí Nude, in Contemplation Before the Five Regular Bodies Metamorphized into Corpuscles, in Which Suddenly Appears the Leda of Leonardo Chromosomatized by the Visage of Gala, 1954.

The piece is framed magnificiently with a certificate of signature authentification. Any ideas what this is worth?

By anon50011 — On Oct 25, 2009

I have an 1905 copyright of a lithograph titled "Yard of Sweet Peas' by Heinmuller. How can I find anything out about it? Is it of any value?

By anon49292 — On Oct 19, 2009

I have an old pablo picasso printed in the Netherlands, from the collection of the museum of modern art in New york. Any value there?

By anon49290 — On Oct 19, 2009

I have a lithograph of James Godwin Scott water color artist from St. Louis, Mo. (construction of Busch Stadium. 1965) Is there any value there?

By anon49149 — On Oct 18, 2009

I have a litho in usa 6025 Christ on Mt. of Olives. Any value to it? It is thick, soft paper with strong blues and greens. Can anyone date it?

By anon48730 — On Oct 14, 2009

Hello, I read all the comments. I have an MC Escher at home. Drawing hands it's called. I got it when my Mom passed away. I don't know where and when she got it. I think it's a print/litho. Can someone give me there thoughts on checking to see if it's worth keeping on my wall? Do I have the real deal?

By anon46026 — On Sep 22, 2009

I have a C Mitchell lithograph of a boy and his dog. How would I go about getting an appraisal to find it's worth? How many copies were made? I have limited funds. thanks in advance.

By anon45373 — On Sep 16, 2009

I have a lithograph of Jean-Baptiste Greuze, "Child with an Apple" I'm trying to find the value of this. It is framed with a label on the frame that says, w.m. schaus 749 broadway ny, ny. It looks really old. If anyone can help me or point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

By anon44051 — On Sep 04, 2009

I have a lithograph 27.5" h x 38.5" w of the RMS Aquatania, She has two tug boats and one sailing boat in the foreground, she is sailing left to right and is still as originally framed in Liverpool almost 100 years ago.

Do you have any idea what its value is?

By anon43195 — On Aug 26, 2009

I purchased a old picture frame that holds a stone like slab of a albrecht durer etching? engraving? of the last supper "1505." the slab has the 439 of 5000 put has the engraving "andreyer" on the right hand side. Does anyone know what this piece is?

By anon41151 — On Aug 13, 2009

I have a framed picture of mlle. georgette charpentier seated 1876. It states major sponsers for masterworks are the ishibashi foundation, opryland, south central bell and yasuda fire and marine insurance company ltd. Can you tell me if this is a reproduction or a lithograph?

By anon40355 — On Aug 07, 2009

I just acquired a lithograph of a lady standing in front of a huge church organ and she seems to be tuning it with left hand on the keyboard and right hand reaching for the pipes above her. She has on a long grey skirt and maroon long sleeve blouse. It measures approx. 4x6" and is marked, Copyright 1901 by S. Franklin, Chicago in the lower left corner. Anyone know value or origin of this piece. Thanks!

By anon40269 — On Aug 07, 2009

A lithography is not a reproduction of a famous painting or work of art. They are the artist´s art work that was meant to be printed in that process and produced in a limited number, the more limited the number produced the more valuable(of course the artist´s cache also counts). An original lithography is signed by the artist and usually bears the number of that piece/the total number reproduced, e.g. 55/75. When you buy one you are given a certification that you are the indeed the certified owner. If the lithograph is valuable and someone wants to buy it from you should him the certification.

By eddy123 — On Aug 06, 2009

Not to mention that etching is an important part of litho. If you're using a stone you have to etch it with nitric acid.

By eddy123 — On Aug 06, 2009

Lithography has nothing to do with reproduction. in fact I'dd say about 95 percent of lithographs created have nothing to do with reproducing another artwork. Not to mention that a greasy crayon is far from a lithographers only tool. Know what your talking about before you post it!

By anon38295 — On Jul 25, 2009

I have a lithograph signed by Manet. It is attached to a heavier sheet of paper with the word, "Plate Sixteen While Lilacs and Roses (1883) Paul Rosenberg Gallery, New York 22" X 18"

The size of the lithograph that is attached is 7 7/8" wide by 9 5/8" tall.

Is this worth anything and what does "Plate Sixteen" mean?

By anon38102 — On Jul 23, 2009

hi can anyone help me out. i have a joan miro{star scene} moses soyer {ballet dancer] they have the original lithographs. are they worth anything? also a kyoto hand crafted antique painting? please let me know

By anon37617 — On Jul 20, 2009

I have a beautiful bird print of one of John Gould's renderings - from his collection "The Birds of Asia." I did examine it under a 10x magnification and it does appear to have pixils. Absolutely gorgeous regardless! I love John Gould's work. This print has an interesting history which I will be happy to share should someone request same. Fran

By anon36926 — On Jul 15, 2009

I have a Degas litho. It's of two dancers. It is definitely 100 years old, as the colors have faded, but it is still beautiful. Anyone know it's value?

By anon35333 — On Jul 04, 2009

Greetings. I have a print by LeRoy Neiman inherited from my Grandfather.I can't determine what kind of a print it is when I look at it under a loupe I can see a pattern but it's not like an offset pattern of dots it's more like a screen pattern with the color on the lines not the dot's you see on offset however where the colors layer there are patterns that do look kind of like rosettes, not exactly but still there. I'm having trouble figuring out if it's a serigraph, offset or a combo. Any help out there? Thanks

By cornishirons — On Jun 27, 2009

Hi, hope someone can help me, have acquired a signed "Richmond dtd 1851" large (64 x 50 cms) picture of a head of a Victorian Lady in Pencil/black Crayon or charcoal. It is on brown thin paper on card. Under a magnifying glass there are no dots. It was sold as an old photogravure but I don't know what that is? Possibly a lithograph? Out of the frame the picture has a slight sheen on it but against the light it appears to be a thin glaze applied in long wide brush strokes. Is this a common feature of lithographs, or photogravures, or was it a practice to put a protective glaze over original work. I am aware that George Richmond (1809 - 1896) did produce limited number of prints/copies. Many thanks.

By nanm2003 — On May 20, 2009

I've got a lithograph by Pierre-Romain Desfosses of fish/carp. It's been passed down in our family for many years. I think it may be valuable and wondering if anyone out there may know more about Desfosses?

By anon30629 — On Apr 21, 2009

Lithographs are original works of visual art "wholly executed by hand by the artist" and "excludes any mechanical and photomechanical processes." (U.S. Customs)

In other words, original works of visual such as lithographs should never be trivialized as being reproduced, much being from an "original artwork."

Lithographs are original artworks.

Gary Arseneau

artist, creator of original lithographs & scholar

Fernandina Beach, Florida



By anon27384 — On Feb 27, 2009

My mother had a book from the late 18 hundreds and on the front of the book it stated that it was done in lithograph. Now the book was beautiful, full of poems and beautiful colored drawings of gardens and such ., but it didn't have anything that really stuck out to me other then the drawings and paintings in the book looked to me more like an old, old postcard and the pages were doubled. Is this lithograph?

And the second question, please don't get me wrong I love art and older things, but I think I am misunderstanding, lithograph, as i have a painting on plastic see through sheeting and it was done by a C Parnell and it's a painting done of a huge restaurant and it had to be painted from the back side and opposite of the way it would show up on the front and i was told this was a lithograph painting, is it?

By anon26233 — On Feb 10, 2009

Fine art (original) lithographs are *not* reproductions. Original lithographs can be produced from slabs of (lime)stone, metal or polyester printing plates. They are works of art (however similar or derivative of a painting, sculpture, drawing etc. they might be) designed and printed specifically to be an original piece, existing in multiple. An original lithograph is hand-printed, and rarely exists in editions over 100. In fact, artists who create lithographs probably rarely produce editions over 20.

Confusing, yes, but an original print is just that; original. The biggest confusion comes with the widespread availability of "limited edition" lithographs. This is code for "commercially produced, offset lithography", and is akin to a high-quality poster. Limited edition lithographs are reproductions of an artists work, and despite any signatures in pencil or seemingly "limited" numbering schemes such as 1/5270, 2/5270 etc, be assured that it is by no means an original work, in and of itself.

By anon22840 — On Dec 11, 2008

I just thought I would help out a little here... you can tell if you have an "Original" lithograph with a magnifying glass with the little 10x bubble. If there are little regular patterns of dot under magnification you have an "offset" print with no resale value "unless hand signed by Picasso in pencil.

A stone lithograph will simply be solid ink laying against the paper. Excellent Article!!!

By BarbraP — On Nov 18, 2008

I have a framed, plate signed lithograph by Robert Owen. He painted clowns. The label on the back shows # Owen-001-48. The piece is titled "Coming Home". It was purchased over 50 years ago (I'm guessing)since my husbands late grandmother gave it to us. I would appreciate any information about this piece. Thank you.

By anon19767 — On Oct 18, 2008

Is anyone familiar with the artist Gabe Pezillo? He does what look like Black and white 14 x 18 Pen and Inks of famous people like frank Sinatra or diana ross or rod stewart. I bought about about 20 of these at a art studio in 1970 for about $60 each and wondered if they may be worth anything today.

By homeishome — On Oct 14, 2008

I realized this more than likely a dutch canal scene.

By homeishome — On Oct 13, 2008

I have print or litho? I am trying to track down in the lower left corner is the marking GP 245 with litho usa below it. Is this a litho and how do I track it down? I think it is a scene in Venice.

By anon18652 — On Sep 27, 2008

A wonderful famous artist M. C. Escher, used lithography as an original art method.

By SallySue — On Apr 11, 2008

UPDATE: My Litho is NOT the traditional Madame Pompadour I've found in my research - - that of a reclining lady (who's slightly older & not as pretty as the young lady on my Litho).

Although I've previously not been able to match my Litho anywhere on the Internet: in last couple of days, i found her - I found the same identical image is on a Lamp on eBay (search = Boucher Madame Pompadour to look at the image on lamp).

I own a Litho - I do Not own the lamp, and when I emailed the lamp owner, they emailed back that they also can't find any info. Believe they bought their lamp at estate sale. Can you pls look at the image on the lamp on eBay, as I currently don't have a way to take photo of my Litho and then get it on this site. Thx so much!

By SallySue — On Mar 31, 2008

Could you pls help me with history, age, value of a colored Lithograph (approx 5"x7") I've recently acquired?

The Lithograph is of a pretty young lady, with pinkish flowers in her short/braided hair. She's wearing a pink (with some white) bow on her neck. Dress front is make of large pink bows - dress shoulders & sleeves are bluish with pinkish flowers between 3-4 "hash" marks. Lady is holding bouquet of springlike white and pink flowers on her Left arm - larger pink bow/flower(?) on Right arm.

The Litho has the following (small lettering across bottom of print): "Madame Pompadour NO B 163 f Boucher litho in USA" Just above the litho in USA wording is a (small) greenish/golden circle with a S L above a curvy L inside the circle.

Young lady is slightly younger and prettier (and more upright) than Boucher's original version of Madame Pompadour I've seen on Internet.

The Litho is framed in greenish/goldish wooden frame with red trimline. Back of frame has paper cover glued on - with a sticker that says "Picture Lines of Distinction Genuine Artograph Trade Mark Artograph Co. Brooklyn NY"


By anon10451 — On Mar 27, 2008

I have some floral Yankel Ginzberg lithographs which are not embellished by the artist, nor are any of them signed by him.. Would any of those prints be worth anything?

By anon5868 — On Dec 08, 2007

OK... I still don't get it. Does the finished art look and feel like a real painting? or does it look like a printer made a copy on special paper??? I don't care if it's a copy and the 12,000th print, as long as it LOOKS like a real painting.

By leonardo — On Nov 19, 2007

I recently purchased a 12 piece set of F. Molina Campos prints issued 1951 from the Minneapolis-Moline Company. At the left bottom they state "litho USA" with the artist's signature upper left and the date 951.

Are these lithographs? If so, what is their value?

By Alsgal1070 — On Nov 07, 2007

What would "The Liberal Cabinet of Canada 1896" be worth? There was only 1 made.

By anon4956 — On Nov 07, 2007

How is the original not destroyed when making a lithograph?

By anon4718 — On Oct 29, 2007

I'm sorry, but your painting "The Faithful Companion" is not worth anything.

As for the Dali lithograph, it is not worth very much. Dali's lithographic pieces were not highly respected and will not command a very large amount of money. I think $300 or $400 would be the most you could get for it.

By anon4467 — On Oct 19, 2007

Is a Dali lithograph in limited edition series of 500 worth much, if it is unsigned, and more than likely to have been produced after his death?

By anon3772 — On Sep 16, 2007

I have a lithograph titled The Faithful Companion, done in Leipzig, Germany. It has been in my family 60 years. Is it worth anything?

By Juxtapose — On Sep 03, 2007

Limestone is the stone used in a lithographic process. More specifically, Solenhofen limestone of Geremany, later to be called lithographic limestone, prized for its fine grain for polishing, and its substrate fractures that make it easily hewn, and make it the ideal medium for lithography.

Lithography is a combination of the greek, "litho"; meaning stone, and of "graph"; meaning to write, draw, or record. Lithography is known to have been invented and perfected by a man named Alois Senefelder. In Alois Senefelder's auto-biography, and collected methodology: "The Invention of Lithography." (penned 1817 - published 1911)

Where he thought himself,"The inventor of an art." Despite his classical teachings of engraving, etching, chemical methodology, and scientific studies that lead to the creation of lithography. Alois was known to be more fond of stone printing for the artistry involved in its method, and in its becoming a unique form of printing.

By happy67208 — On Jul 18, 2007

I have a friend who bought, at an estate sale, pictures of the 1946 varga girls calendar. The pictures do not have the actual calendars on them. Just the picture of the girls and are signed varga with a circle under the g with esq in the circle. They also have the month with a cute qoute and the year 1946. They are a glossy print. What can you tell me about these pictures?

By anon753 — On May 03, 2007

An Original Lithograph is NOT a copy of anything but was created as a lithograph usually in limited edition.

By teddyknitter — On Mar 15, 2007

Is lithography used for anything else besides art reproduction?

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick


As a frequent contributor to Musical Expert, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
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