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The Art Of Lithography

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Lithography, or engraving on stone, is npplie'l to such a multiplieity of purposos that it cons.titutcs a vcry important branch of artistic industry. It has not the finen oss or costliness of steel engraving, luit it has adrantages over that art in the rapidity with which the engraving cin be executed, and the faoility of duplic.ating impressiens by means of transferring, which leads to substitution for it. Thns a great many lithographio pjates show, chiefly in letterings, a elicaoy of line but little inferior to steel engraving, and to such a pitch of excellence has the art been brought that only an experieneed person would mark the difference. This capability of the art haa given rise to what is lenown as the commercial braneh of Lithography ; that is the engraving of bonds and certificates of stocks, letter heads, etc. Üf these beautiful specimens of work in gold anc colors are produced, in every way adequate to the purposo for which they are intended. This species of engraving is performod by cutting into the stone with a burin, or occasionaliy a diamond. The contrivannes for ruling parallel lines of extreme fineness, requisito for shading, and for producing those interminable convolntions such as adorn the verdant backs of ouv currency, are most interestng to note, Besides this, and characteristic of lithography, is tho perfect imitation of the Boft toxture of crayon drawing, peculiarly successful and striking in large portraits and in representations of animáis. This kind of lithography is produced without incisión of the stone, and affixed thereto by means of acid. The great fttct on whicb lithography hinsres is the non affinity of oil and water. The drawing is made more or less greasy ; the ink nsed likewiso contains oil, and the plato boing covered with water, which does not affect the greased portion, i. e., the drawing, on Hs being inked, the ink attaches itself only to the drawing, allowing an impression only to be taken. Of late years a new braneh has been added - chroir.o lithosraphv - by which pictures are produced iu nolors, and, in thf highest dppartmcntsof the water colora ; while by a further extensión of the procesa, oil pnintings are reproduccd with wonderful closeness of resemblunce, tending to popnlarize art. These colored pictures are produced by haring the same engiaving on ft number of blocks, different poitions of each of which receivo one particular color. By taking an impression of ech on the name paper, the picture, in a varinty of colors, is formed. This is a 'Mieate operation, as it is necessary to have a nerffict, " rpgister," that isforeach impression to fall on exactly the same pot, to insure the exact fitting together of the respective colors. The art of lithography was originally inven ted by a Germán, Alois Senefelder, bom at Prague in 1771. Ho pickod up a piece of stone and made a memorandum on it, with what happened to be a greasy pencil, and attempting to rub it out' found that he could not do so. This gave him the idea on which he worked, and subsequently produced impressions of drawiugs on paper. Vom this humble beginning the art has progressrd until it has attaiuel i tg present dimensions and iinportauce. By thfl recent adoption of (.team pressc;s, the CHpiibilities of the art have been very ftreatly inereased. Whercas by the old hhnd-press a good worlcman could prodace 300 impressions per day, a steam press, attendod by a man and a boy, will isme froin 4,000 to 5,000.


Old News
Michigan Argus