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     Art transfer, also known as a lithograph, has become a widely used method of creating portraits within the artist community. The experimentation with different techniques, use of materials, and canvases has become an ongoing epidemic as new generations of designers are discovered.

An arising method used to transfer works to another canvas is the lithographic process. This process was created in 1796 to be a low-cost technique for theatrical work by Bavarian author Alois Senefelder.

Alois, who was not only an author but was also a play writer and actor, fell into debt during his play production of Mathilde von Altenstein. In this poor financial state he began to explore new kinds of novel etching tactics. Senefelder discovered that by using an ink that was greasy and acid resistant, he could print his work on Solnhofen limestone, a smooth, fine-grained stone.

Even though limestone was one of the first materials used to transfer art, it is not the only foundation accessible for the lithograph method. The technique can be used with paper, printing plates, mylar, flexible aluminum, or polyester, depending on the photographic process.

Before these tools became usable the style was originally performed by drawing the subject upon a wax or oily element, which was then administered to a lithographic stone used as a medium for the print sheet. The fact that this technique has multiple stages to produce the print is what separates it from gravure and intaglio printing where the canvas is etched, stippled, or engraved.

The influence began to spread, since founded by Senefelder, in the 19th century from Germany to France, and eventually London, which at this time were main production centers in Europe. Due to technological disadvantages, a German artist named Godefroy Engelmann resolved the problems in the 1820s when he had earlier moved to Paris.

After Engelmann's resolutions, lithograph printing became more admissible to artists such as Delacroix, Gericault, and Goya. Although obtaining a descent amount of recognition in the art community, by the mid-century interest began to slow in both France and London. Despite the loss of interest, the technique proceeded to gain awareness in commercial applications.

In today's art world, posters, books, newspapers, maps, etc. all use the lithograph style to mass-produce an item upon any smooth surface. With these materials in large demand, technology has played a larger role in the production process.

State of the art printing plates made with a roughened texture and coated with photosensitive emulsion are more commonly used instead of the traditional stone plates. This new method is done by applying a photographic negative of the portrait with the emulsion, which is then laid bare to ultraviolet lighting.

Once developed, the emulsion produces a reverse effect of the negative which is a replica of the positive, or the original piece. The expansion and improvement since the 1700's production of the lithograph for art has not only changed the way art can be produced, but has also given future generations of artists a new tool for self-expression.

Some creators will still reverting back to the use of traditional limestone plates for a more classic finish to their illustrations. Other aspiring artists will use the technological advancements that have been offered, enabling them to use this skill and exhibit their innovative pieces.

Betz Gallery is an expert in Giclee and lithograph and prints and reproductions

Please visit us for any art work you may be looking for at

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Betz Gallery is an expert in Giclee and lithograph and prints and reproductions

Posted on 2012-08-30, By: *

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