Loading Spinner

Lithograph Prints

Lithography is based upon the principle that oil and water do not mix. Originally developed as a method to easily mass-reproduce images, printmakers also use this process to create fine print editions. Rather than etching into a plate or carving into block, the printer draws directly onto the surface of a limestone block with a wax crayon.

Next, the plate is dampened with water, and water resistant ink rolled onto the stone. The water repels the ink and it adheres to the wax drawing, allowing only the image to print onto paper when it is pressed against the stone.

The stone can be inked and printed hundreds of times over, allowing for the mass production of illustrations or printing large editions. Color can be added to the image later by hand, or different stones can be used to create chromolithograph.


Quick Facts

  • Lithography was developed in 1796 by an obscure German playwright, Alois Senefelder, while looking for an easy reproduction method for his documents
  • Lithography developed into the predominant form of image reproduction in the 1800 and 1900s. It continues to be a major method in present day for mass production, though the technology has advanced considerably
  • Fine artists use the traditional stone method today to take advantage of the soft, feathery effects created by the process

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Getulio Alviani, 1939-2018, Testura grafica
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Getulio Alviani, 1939-2018, Testura grafica
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF150- CHF300
CHF42010 Bids
Portfolio, Portfolio. One Cent Life
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Portfolio, Portfolio. One Cent Life
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,000- CHF1,500
CHF3,2008 Bids
Günther Uecker, 1930, Optische Partitur
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Günther Uecker, 1930, Optische Partitur
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF2,500- CHF3,500
CHF2,8003 Bids
Leo Leuppi, 1893-1972, 2 sheets: Untitled
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Leo Leuppi, 1893-1972, 2 sheets: Untitled
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF150- CHF300
CHF1302 Bids
Günther Förg, 1952-2013, Sheet 7 from "Erker Suite"
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Günther Förg, 1952-2013, Sheet 7 from "Erker Suite"
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF300- CHF400
CHF2602 Bids
Jean Tinguely, 1925-1991, Mémoire de la liberté (*)
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Jean Tinguely, 1925-1991, Mémoire de la liberté (*)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,000- CHF1,500
CHF1,1002 Bids
Andy Warhol Lithograph Signed In Plate
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Andy Warhol Lithograph Signed In Plate
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Balthasar Burkhard, 1944-2010, 2 Sheets: Himmel mit Flugzeug, 1969; Himmel und Erde
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Balthasar Burkhard, 1944-2010, 2 Sheets: Himmel mit Flugzeug, 1969; Himmel und Erde
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF600- CHF1,000
CHF5001 Bid
Joan Miró, 1893-1983, Sculptures III
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Joan Miró, 1893-1983, Sculptures III
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF200- CHF300
CHF1801 Bid
Alexander Calder, 1898-1976, La mémoire élémentaire (*)
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Alexander Calder, 1898-1976, La mémoire élémentaire (*)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF2,000- CHF3,000
CHF1,8001 Bid
Alexander Calder, 1898-1976, Tapestry
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Alexander Calder, 1898-1976, Tapestry
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,200- CHF1,800
CHF1,0001 Bid
Christo, 1935-2020, Wrapped Venus (Project for Villa Borghese, Rome)
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Christo, 1935-2020, Wrapped Venus (Project for Villa Borghese, Rome)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF700- CHF900
CHF6001 Bid
Günther Uecker, 1930, Optische Partitur I, from "Partitur I - V"
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Günther Uecker, 1930, Optische Partitur I, from "Partitur I - V"
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF2,000- CHF3,000
CHF1,8001 Bid
Frank Stella, 1936, River of Ponds IV from the series "Newfoundland"
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Frank Stella, 1936, River of Ponds IV from the series "Newfoundland"
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF3,000- CHF5,000
CHF2,6001 Bid
Henry Moore, 1898-1986, Three Reclining Figures on Pedestals
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Henry Moore, 1898-1986, Three Reclining Figures on Pedestals
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF500- CHF800
CHF4400 Bids
Matias Spescha, 1925-2008, Sheet from "Lithographie-Serie, fünfteilig"
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Matias Spescha, 1925-2008, Sheet from "Lithographie-Serie, fünfteilig"
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF150- CHF300
CHF1300 Bids
Alois Carigiet, 1902-1985, Untitled
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Alois Carigiet, 1902-1985, Untitled
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF3600 Bids
Bruce Nauman, 1941, Untitled (Green) (*)
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Bruce Nauman, 1941, Untitled (Green) (*)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF1,500- CHF2,000
CHF1,3000 Bids
Markus Raetz, 1941-2020, 2 Sheets: Zucker und Salz, 1969; Plakat Kunstmuseum Basel, 1971
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Markus Raetz, 1941-2020, 2 Sheets: Zucker und Salz, 1969; Plakat Kunstmuseum Basel, 1971
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF300- CHF600
CHF2600 Bids
bp parity badge
"The Army & Navy of the United States" 3 Hand-Colored Prints
Dec 14, 11:00 AM EST
"The Army & Navy of the United States" 3 Hand-Colored Prints
by University Archives
Est: $200- $300
$700 Bids
Jef Verheyen, 1932-1984, Portfolio. Jef Verheyen 40 - Auch eine Geschichte
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Jef Verheyen, 1932-1984, Portfolio. Jef Verheyen 40 - Auch eine Geschichte
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF500- CHF800
CHF4400 Bids
Man Ray, 1890-1976, Sheet from "L'origine de l'espèce"
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Man Ray, 1890-1976, Sheet from "L'origine de l'espèce"
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF3600 Bids
Rita Ernst, 1956, Monotype
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
Rita Ernst, 1956, Monotype
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF150- CHF300
CHF1300 Bids
André Masson, 1896-1987, 2 Sheets: Sans titre (Untitled)
Nov 30, 6:00 PM CET
André Masson, 1896-1987, 2 Sheets: Sans titre (Untitled)
by Germann Auction House Ltd
Est: CHF150- CHF200
CHF1300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Lithograph Prints


Germann Auction House Ltd

Germann Auction House Ltd

Cypria Auctions

Cypria Auctions

Jeschke van Vliet Auctions Berlin GmbH

Jeschke van Vliet Auctions Berlin GmbH

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste

Gonnelli Casa d'Aste