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Lithograph prints were invented in Germany in 1796 and is generally regarded as the most difficult printmaking method to learn and master.

Lithography printmaking involves drawing directly on flat stone with an oil-based implement, then coating the stone with a water-based liquid. The applied marks repel the liquid, so that when oil-based ink is applied to the stone it fills in the image, allowing it to be transferred onto a sheet.

Lithography has been widely used by artists and was explored early on by Eugène Delacroix but it was artists in the latter half of the 19th century who widely used these printmaking technique with innovative experimentation. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Edouard Manet took to the stone with a marked freedom, depicting motion and fleeting effects of light, while Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard infused the rich, natural colours of Impressionist pastels and oil paintings into their lithograph prints. Creative collaborations between artists and master printers have yielded innovative work by artists like Pablo PicassoJasper JohnsRobert Motherwell, and Vija Celmins.

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