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Lithograph

Lithography is a type of printing process which is used to reproduce authorised copies of original texts and artworks by an artist, these copies are called lithographs. This method was invented in 1796 as a cheap method of publishing theatrical works. The biggest advantage of this process is that it does not require the printmaker to etch an image on a metal plate or physically carve out the image on a soft material. Lithography rather works on the principle that oil and water do not mix. The artist uses greasy crayons to draw the image on a smooth lithographic limestone plate, which after subsequent moistening is then treated with an oil-based variety of ink that immediately bonds with the equally greasy crayon lines. This ink will be completely repelled by the water content on the plate thus just sticking to the original drawing. A paper is then placed over the entire plate and a certain amount of pressure is applied on this plate along with the paper placed on it, to transfer the ink to the paper.


Raja Ravi Varma, Ramapanchayan, Rama and Sita, with Hanuman, and Rama's three brothers Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna, before 1906, lithograph