Henry Gastineau, ‘Ruin with Farm-Buildings’ published 1826
Henry Gastineau
Ruin with Farm-Buildings published 1826

Lithography, literally ‘stone drawing’, was invented in 1798, and made it possible to print images with qualities that differed markedly from all earlier printmaking techniques. The image to be printed is drawn in a greasy medium onto a specially prepared flat surface of porous limestone. The surface is then dampened and rolled with greasy ink. This sticks to the greasy image, but is repelled by the water on the unmarked areas of the stone. The image can then be printed onto paper. Since the image can be drawn in any greasy medium, whether in stick form or as liquid applied with a brush, an unprecedented range of marks could be created.